Monday, July 18, 2011

Woods/Mays Duo; Monty's Milestone - Bob Stewart

Grammy-winner and multiple nominee Phil Woods is one of the top alto saxophonists alive, and he has lost neither his enthusiasm nor his creativity throughout his illustrious career. He's worked with a who's who of the jazz world, including Thelonious Monk, Dizzy Gillespie and Quincy Jones. Pianist Bill Mays has his own long-standing trio, plus he's worked with such artists as Gerry Mulligan, Sonny Stitt, and Art Pepper. After Mays joined Woods' Quintet a few years back, talk began of doing a duo recording. They came together last September to record "Phil & Bill", which includes a handful of off-the-beaten-path standards and a couple of Woods originals.

In a career spanning five decades, pianist Monty Alexander has distinctively bridged the worlds of jazz, popular song, and the music of his native Jamaica. With over 70 albums to his name, Alexander celebrates his 50th year in music with "Harlem-Kingston Express: Live." It presents his most "reggaefied" touring group yet which, for the past few years, has defined a bold new chapter in Alexander's lifetime journey of uniting jazz with reggae and a wide array of other Island musical idioms he holds dear. A majority of the disc was recorded live during the group's triumphant week at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola in New York City in June of last year, which the Wall Street Journal called, "an outrageously good time."

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