This 1971 recording signals the beginning of Jamaican pianist Monty Alexander’s fruitful relationship with MPS, lasting over a decade and encompassing some dozen albums. Originally touted as heir to Oscar Peterson’s crown, Alexander is famous for his virtuoso melding of jazz, the sounds of the Caribbean and blues. The classic Dave Brubeck Quartet’s bassist Eugene Wright, calypso percussionist Montego Joe, and ace drummer Duffy Jackson round out the quartet. Montevideo jumps off with percussive Latin two-beat verve and a witty piano filled with quotes. The ballad Where is Love is a searching romantic serenade, and Monty transforms the Beatle’s Here Comes The Sun into blues-laced Latinesque with a taste of boogie. Monty takes the standard Love Walked In at a brisk pace as he demonstrates his considerable straight-ahead jazz chops, bop quotes and all. Check out the tasty walking bass and drum solos. The luscious calypso Brown Skin Girl is followed by Monty’s tender, wistful solo rendition of his The Dream Is Mine. The group stretches out on Miles Davis’ iconic So What, grounding the tune with a driving Latin-rock beat. They say variety is the spice of life and Monty Alexander and co. have seasoned this album to perfection.
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