Jamaican Monty Alexander is a man with two musical faces: many know him best as a piano virtuoso and heir to Oscar Peterson’s thrown. On Rass he is a master of electric keyboard jazz-funk heavily seasoned by the musical spices of his homeland. Recorded in Kingston in 1974 with ace local players, Rass features the legendary Jamaican guitarist Ernest Ranglin, one of the musicians who helped mold the sound known as ska. Alexander covers two Al Greene soul classics, Let’s Stay Together and Love and Happiness. They mirror the sex and soul of the originals as well as dish out a taste of the island. Sly Mongoose, Yellow Bird, and Limbo are traditional Caribbean melodies played funky with calypso-reggae-ska inflections. Alexander and Ranglin exhibit effortless give-and-take interspersed with exploratory solos over a funky foundation. By the way, rass is an all-purpose Jamaican expletive: “Rass, dot som funky music, mon”.
Listen to the Monty Alexander Essentials playlist: https://VA.lnk.to/MontyAlexanderEssentials