“Love Notes,” The New Album From Pianist Extraordinaire Monty Alexander, Is An Ode To All Things Romantic and the First Project By the Jamaican-born Musician to Feature His Vocals
Guest Artists Include George Benson, the Late Roy Hargrove, Ramsey Lewis, Joe Sample, Arturo Sandoval and More
New York, New York. “Love Notes,” a brand-new album of eleven tracks with vocals and piano by Monty Alexander, is set for release August 19th, 2022. The collection represents the culmination of Monty’s decades’ long desire to record a vocal album after releasing 75 piano projects over the course of his illustrious, critically-acclaimed career. Said Monty, “My desire was emboldened ever since one of our great Jazz vocalists, Carmen McRae, heard me sing a tune at the end of a concert and told me “Don’t stop singing!”, admonishing me like a loving aunt would. That was back in the 1970’s so it took me fifty years, and a century later, but I am glad to finally introduce Monty the vocalist, and this collection of love songs.”
Thoughtfully curated, the eleven tracks on “Love Notes” are some of Monty’s favorite songs crafted and arranged in a totally unique setting. With the exception of “These Love Notes” (Monty’s original composition with lyrics by Brian Jobson), all of the songs have a direct connection to his childhood — the first songs he ever heard and loved — and they bring back the scent and romanticism of the Jasmine flowers Monty used to smell as a child in Montego Bay. “These songs harken back to innocent times, the 1950’s, when I would hear calypsos and mentos in the streets,” continues Monty, “before I came to America, before the rise of Bob Marley, and certainly before I knew I would have this incredible career as a Jazz pianist with over 75 albums recorded to date. 75 albums as a pianist and one as a singer!”
Another important aspect of this album, regarding inspiration, is that period in Jamaica when Monty used to sneak out of school to go to the recording studio, during the time of Ska but also the time when Jamaicans had a love affair with these kinds of songs, songs from the great American Songbook but merged with Jamaican rhythms and vibrations. This was the late 50’s early 60’s when Monty was 14/15 years old…Many identified these rhythms as “rockers”. Monty was there, and he was there at the beginning of ska as well – indeed a pioneer!
Ranging in artist spectrum from Henry Mancini to Nat King Cole to Harry Belafonte and more, Monty couples his passion for the music with his extraordinary piano playing and the intimacy of his wonderful vocals, crafting an album that will resonate with the romantics in all of us and to be enjoyed for many years to come. The release of “Love Notes” will be accompanied by tour dates worldwide, and also in the works is “The Monty Alexander Movie,” a documentary on Monty’s life and music. Directed by Academy Award-winning cinematographer and veteran filmmaker Arthur Gordon, the project is currently in production in Jamaica, the U.S. and Europe.