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.

Monty Alexander

Pianist Monty Alexander embraces a wide variety of musical styles. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of the artist

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.

Web Resources

Purchase Featured Music

Calypso Blues: The Songs of Nat King Cole

Purchase Music

Purchase Featured Music

Calypso Blues: The Songs of Nat King Cole
Monty Alexander

Your purchase helps support NPR Programming. How?




Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the Community rules and Terms of Use. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.