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Review: Pianist Monty Alexander offers fresh interpretations

| Monday, Nov. 22, 2010

Monty Alexander proved himself a man of his words over the weekend at the Manchester Craftsmen's Guild, North Side.

He blended the music of his native Jamaica with the jazz of his adopted United States in a show that demonstrated the strong elements of both. His piano work was at a high level, as he offered fresh interpretations of a subtle version of "Moanin' " with originals such as his anthemic "Trust."

He was surrounded by a group that performed in trio to septet size with members from both sides of the musician equation. Bassist Joshua Thompson, for instance, offered a great version of Bob Marley's "Jammin'." Meanwhile, guitarist Yotam Silberstein proved himself a young talent to watch.

He was good at the 2009 University of Pittsburgh Jazz Seminar and Concert, but his work Friday was even more impressive in great solos and excellent comping.

Alexander has been a frequent visitor to Pittsburgh, but this may have been his most impressive stop in the past 20 years.

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