Monty Alexander: The Serpent
Monty Alexander (piano)
The River (Concord Jazz CCD 4422)
Recorded: Rockville, MD, October, 1985
Rating: 92/100 (learn more)
For all their differences, one thing the world's religions share is the mythological Serpent. Here, Monty Alexander offers his take on that much-maligned creature. Growing up in Jamaica exposed Alexander to both Christian and Obeah (West Indian black magic) serpent symbolism, and this piano/drum duet is suitably slithery. Reminding us with a raking left-hand ostinato that snakes move with lightning swiftness, Alexander relentlessly pursues the elusive Serpent with his viperous right hand, until at last engaging it at Armageddon. We won't give away the ending, but it's a thrilling chase.
Reviewer: Alan Kurtz