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Monty Alexander: Living The Good Life

To hear jazz pianist Monty Alexander tell it, he's had a wonderful life. In this conversation with Jazz 24 music director Nick Francis, Alexander talks about making music throughout his youth in Jamaica, when ska and reggae were just coming into their own. He recalls his early days on the jazz scene in Florida and New York, which included encounters with Frank Sinatra and his entourage. Alexander also talks about the wide variety of music he loves.

As it turns out, there isn't much music he doesn't like. Alexander enjoys blues, old pop songs, boogie-woogie, reggae, classical pieces and even cowboy songs, which evidently cause him to yodel when he talks about them — at least he does it here. Naturally, all of these different musical genres inform Alexander's jazz improvisations. In this performance, you'll hear them weaving in and out of his solo piano versions of "Fungi Mama," "Night Mist Blues" and the Bob Marley classic, "No Woman, No Cry."

Listen to the previous Favorite Session, or see our full archive.

Copyright 2009 KNKX Public Radio

Nick Morrison