Acoustic Sounds

Monty Alexander

Monty Alexander The Montreux Years



Label: BMG

Produced By: Fraser Kennedy

Engineered By: Various

Mixed By: Various

Mastered By: Tony Cousins at Metropolis Mastering

By: Michael Fremer

November 17th, 2022


Jazz Reggae



"Monty Alexander The Montreux Years" Highlights 20+ Years of Onstage Excitement

recordings from four different Montreux venues

If you grabbed a copy last year of "Monty Alexander Love You Madly, Live at Bubba's" (Resonance RLP 9047), which was a limited edition Record Store Day title sourced from a 24 track analog master recorded in 1982 by Criteria Studios owner Mack Emerman as a gift to Alexander but never previously released, or perhaps you picked up the AAA MPS reissue of of "Montreux Alexander" The Monty Alexander Trio Live! at the Montreux Festival" (MPS 0210986MSW), you need to introduction to Monty Alexander.

This newest compilation, part of BMG's "The Montreux Years" series featuring Marianne Faithful, Muddy Waters, Nina Simone and others with more to come culls from performances recorded at The Miles Davis Hall, the Montreux Jazz Club, the Auditorium Stravinski and the Casino Barriére between 1993 and 2016.

Miles Davis Hall (photo by Michael Fremer)

Jamaican born Alexander, now 78 years old and still touring the world, has recorded with jazz greats like Milt Jackson and Ray Brown as well as reggae stars Sly and Robbie. The list goes on. Alexander was doing "world music" before the term was coined.

Barríere Casino (Photo by Michael Fremer)

Here he plays with Monty Alexander's Jamaican Project, Monty Alexander Harlem Kingston Express, and in a trio featuring drummer Ed Thigpen—long part of Oscar Peterson's group—and Ira Coleman.

The music is all over the map and it's a trip worth taking. Self taught Alexander is a high energy player born to entertain and excite. The Harlem Kingston Express does a "No Woman No Cry/Get Up Stand Up" medley recorded in 2014 and Nat Adderley and Oscar Brown, Jrs. familiar "Work Song". There are Alexander originals and some other covers all played with Alexander's energetic but never ostentatious or overtly flashy style, influenced by Oscar Peterson, Ahmad Jamal, Errol Garner and others but all filtered through Alexander's unique musical prism.

The recording quality is outstanding as is everything audio and video in The Claude Nobs Foundation's audio and video archives. The late Mr. Nobs founded the festival and oversaw it until his passing in a ski accident. The archives are among the world's largest collection of live recordings.

Monty Alexander tapes (and others) in the the Claude Nobs tape vault (photo by Michael Fremer)

The early recordings at least, if not all of them were to analog tape, all of which was digitized at high resolution, MQA processed and well mastered by Tony Cousins at Metropolis but not sure who cut lacquers and pressed but the pressing quality is outstanding on 180g quiet vinyl. The sound will not disappoint.

Music Specifications

Catalog No: CAT573DLP


Speed/RPM: 33 1/3

Weight: 180 grams

Size: 12"

Channels: Stereo

Presentation: Multi LP


  • 2022-12-16 02:19:34 PM

    Stephen di Girolamo wrote:

    What a great interview! One just feels good after listening to Monty Alexander, whether he is playing or just chatting. Thank you Michael.