MONTY ALEXANDER TRIO
PLAYS THE SONGS OF NAT KING COLE
MONTY ALEXANDER PIANO - LORIN COHEN BASS - GEORGE FLUDAS DRUMS
Nat was an ever-present sound in the house in which I grew up in Kingston, Jamaica. My parents had many of his records. Not only would we play our favorite calypso artists but also Bing Crosby, Louis Armstrong, Tony Bennett, and Perry Como. However, Nat King Cole ruled the Alexander gramophone player.|
My greatest Nat King Cole moment happened when he came to Jamaica. I was thirteen years old at the time, and I snuck out ot school to see him live on stage at the Carib Theater, which was a mere fifteen minutes bus ride from school. I witnessed the smoothest, the sharpest, most swinging, most gracious gentleman in a shiny grey suit, sitting sidesaddle on a piano bench. I saw something I did not know before: Nat King Cole played the piano! No one had told me. This was a great awakening, and a whole new world opened up for me, because I saw a man play the piano like no one I had seen before. In the ensuing years, I determined that this man didn't just play wonderfully on the piano; he was one of the all times baddest cats ever! He was so fast, so fleet, so light, and he did all with the greatest of ease while swinging so hard. It was as if each note he played smiled at you. In spite of his amazing technique, he was a master of the art of restraint (like Count Basie). He is truly one of the great influences in the history of modern jazz piano.
Thirty-five years after seeing Nat King Cole on stage in Jamaica, his daughter, Natalie, invited me to assist her on a tribute to her father. That recording was Unforgettable and so was that moment in my life. ...
- Monty Alexander
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