|All Artists: J.R. Monterose|
Title: Complete Studio Recordings
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 0
Label: Gambit Spain
Release Date: 8/20/2008
Album Type: Import
Genres: Jazz, Pop
Number of Discs: 2
SwapaCD Credits: 2
Complete Studio Recordings
Genres: Jazz, Pop
2008 two CD release presents all of the studio recordings made by tenor sax great J.R. Monterose in a quartet and quintet format under his own name during the '50s and '60s. Includes the complete original albums The Messag... more »
2008 two CD release presents all of the studio recordings made by tenor sax great J.R. Monterose in a quartet and quintet format under his own name during the '50s and '60s. Includes the complete original albums The Message (1959), In Action (1964) and J.R. Montrose (1956) plus all the Montrose tracks from the George Wallington album The Prestidigitator (1957). 26 tracks. Gambit.
J.R.Monterose Complete Studio Quartet/Quintet Recordings
Stuart Jefferson | San Diego,Ca | 09/08/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Two discs,78&75 min. each approximately. Fine sound-warm and clean. First off,I can't believe that this musician has gone relatively unheard for so long! He is the consumate "musician's musician". His tenor sax playing is his own. The sound isn't really derivitive of anyone. Monterose professes to like Parker and Coltrane,and you can discern a bit of a Parker sound and maybe even a bit of early Coltrane. Other than that he forged his own sound.
Never one to push his talents,Monterose stayed out of the limelight,playing in small out of the way venues for a large part of his professional life. Perhaps his biggest claim to fame was playing with Kenny Dorham on "'Round About Midnight at The Cafe Bohemia",where Monterose's playing is superb. On these studio tracks he's accompanied by Tommy Flanagan,George Wallington and Horace Silver on piano,Wilbur Ware,Teddy Kotick and Jimmy Garrison on bass,and Pete La Roca,Nick Stabulas and Philly Joe Jones on drums. On a few tracks he is accompanied by an unknown group(which he often preferred)consisting of Dale Oehler on piano,Gary Allen on bass,and Joe Abodeely on drums. Ira Sullivan,the good but not to well-known trumpeter also puts in an appearance. Jerry Lloyd plays a bass trumpet on two tracks,sounding much like a trombone. Together,these small group recordings from the fifties and sixties,make up some of the finest jazz that no one has heard.
When one thinks of "jazz" this is what should be going on inside one's head. This is intelligent,well thought out music,written(in large part)arranged and played by a man who went his own way. About half the tracks were written by Monterose with the others being jazz favorites of the time. This is understated,good music,that doesn't call attention to itself with flash but with well thought out and well played arrangements. The ballads are some of the finest you will ever hear and the up-tempo tracks are very tight-reminding one of the best Blue Note records from this same era. This is music that everyone who loves straight ahead jazz needs to have in their collection. You will find yourself going back to it time and time again-and that's the mark of good jazz."
It's not just about show biz
Samuel Chell | Kenosha,, WI United States | 08/31/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It may come as a surprise to some, but even the most respected, forward-thinking, and influential musicians in jazz are subject to the shifting sands of "hipness," to the whims of fashion. When an imposing physical specimen and big-toned player like Rollins or Freddie or Coltrane appears on the scene, it can cause leaders to think more about "presentation" than musicianship and pure creativity. As a result, the players whose personalities and profiles might be said to be "lo fi" are frequently dismissed, by-passed, forgotten about. No offense to the aforementioned power trio, but I can listen as often--make that more often--to Hank Mobley, Harold Land, Bill Hardman, and J. R. Monterose and feel no less rewarded for my attentiveness. If Lester Young taught us anything, it's that musicianship or, for that matter, beautiful art, can never be equated with masculinity, machoism, and muscularity: it's about using a "language" to express emotion and move the listener as much as to "impress" the listener with salient, overpowering waves of sound and, in some cases, "swagger."
In the early '60s I once asked the diminutive bassist, Jimmy Garrison--between sets of a Coltrane club date--which of the recordings on which he had appeared was his favorite. Granted, the musician who remained loyal to Trane to the end (Elvin and McCoy would split in 1965) had yet to record "A Love Supreme"), but I was nevertheless somewhat surprised to hear his answer: "The Message," a J. R. Monterose session on an obscure label. Small wonder. I immediately went out and secured a copy of the LP which, besides inspired playing by J.R., who is as thoughtful as he is soulful, includes the near-flawless piano work of Tommy Flanagan (who had appeared with Trane on the seminal "Giant Steps") and is represented in resplendent yet detailed, full-dimensional audio fidelity. Unfortunately, the album is now a collector's item going for close to a hundred bucks; fortunately, the entire session is included on this import, and it alone is worth the price of admission of the present collection.
But don't assume that, because of the title, you've suddenly acquired all there is of J. R. Monterose on record. For your next stop, give strong consideration to "Round About Midnight at the Cafe Bohemia," Volumes 1 and 2, under the name of another underrated but indispensable player: Kenny Dorham (who had the good sense to employ J. R. along with Kenny Burrell, Bobby Timmons, and the redoubtable bassist Sam Jones for the date). Besides a sterling "Night in Tunisia" and dead-center "Autumn in New York," the session includes perhaps the best of K.D.'s numerous recordings of his own infectious but rather daunting "Mexico City."
Just one cautionary: It's frequently necessary to straighten out listeners about the distinction (not a small one) between the hard-core R&B belter Etta James and the unfailingly mainstream jazz singer Etta Jones. The same is true of J.R. Monterose and Jack Montrose. But here the distinction is more subtle since both musicians played tenor sax, battled similar demons, and played and recorded practically contemporaneously. Jack, as I recall, recorded with Clifford Brown but is perhaps remembered more as an arranger than a player. If geography still means anything (admittedly, since the internet, it means less), think of Jack as a West Coaster; J.R. as an East Coaster. Moreover, then as now, the closer you got to the Big Apple, the closer you were to the epicenter--the very soul--of this vital and vibrant music."
"I GOT THE MESSAGE,AND IT'S GOOD NEWS!!!"
Dan Celli,X,DJ. | SAN FRANCISCO,CA | 05/05/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"WHAT EVER JR HAD FOR BREAKFAST THAT DAY(1959),HE COULD DO NO WRONG. I BOUGHT THIS
CD FOR "THE MESSAGE"SESSION.ON MY PROGRAM ("CELLI'S TAPES" AT KPOO 89.5 FM) IN 1977,
I PLAYED,"VIOLETS FOR YOUR FURS","GREEN ST SCENE". "VIOLETS.." IS A CLASSIC PERFORMANCE.
HIS TONE IS SHARP,FULL,MUSCULAR AND AT TIMES BREATHY THAT WOULD MAKE BEN WEBSTER
PROUD.THE 1964 SESSION,HE USES A SOFTER TONE,BUT THE TALENT IS STILL THERE.
HIS EARLIER RECORDINGS,HE HAD A HABIT OF PECKING HIS NOTES FROM TIME TO TIME.
HERE,HE IS IN GREAT COMPANY;HORACE SILVER,TOMMY FLANAGAN,PHILLY JOE JONES,IRA SULLIVAN,
PETE LAROCCA,JIMMY GARRISON,WILBUR WARE,GEORGE WALLINGTON+MUCH MORE.
COMPOSITIONS BY;SILVER,GOLSON,MONTROSE,DONALD BYRD,PHILLY JOE JONES,MOSE ALLISON,
PAUL CHAMBERS,SAMMY CAHN,DAVIS/SHERMAN/RAMIREZ.
"WEEJAY"("OUT OF NOWHERE "CHANGES.) "THAT YOU CARE"("ALL THE THINGS YOU ARE" CHANGES.)
THERE IS A LOT OF GREAT HARD BOP TUNES HERE. THE OTHER MUSICIANS I DID NOT MENTION,
ARE VERY GOOD ALSO. 2HOURS AND 33 MINUTES OF HARD BOP AND BALLADS.
MY FAVORITE VERSIONS OF "VIOLETS FOR YOUR FURS" ARE BY JR , COLTRANE (COLTRANE) AND
THE MAN WHO WROTE THE MELODY;MATT DENNIS WITH THE MOST BEAUTIFUL LYRICS I EVER
HEARD,TOM ADAIR (MATT DENNIS LIVE IN HOLLYWOOD) THATS A LIVE NITE CLUB PERFORMANCE ;1955. I ALWAYS HAVE TO PLAY "VIOLETS FOR YOUR FUR'S" TWICE BY THESE 3 GREAT MUSICIANS!"