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维基

对於牙买加的爵士钢琴大师Monty Alexander而言,永难忘怀的爵士啟蒙便是一代歌王Nat King Cole。少年时代的Monty,因为听Nat的歌和在牙买加看到Nat的现场演奏而从此深深投入爵士乐的怀抱。对他来说,能以自己演奏的方式向Nat致敬,应是漫长音乐生涯中深具意义的一件事。在这张专辑里,Monty不以他向来专擅的炫技取胜,习惯的雷鬼与融合乐风褪尽,留下的是对Nat歌曲素朴纯粹的演绎。每首泛著四五零爵士年代气息的歌曲重新经过Monty指下琴键轻触而泛出怀旧中带著新鲜的气息,搭配上Monty近年时相合作的两位年轻的优秀sideman:bass手Lorin Cohen和鼓手George Fludas适切不抢戏的伴奏,令整张专辑流泻出浓厚的韵味。

而Monty系出雷鬼的灵动grooving并未因此稍减,反而巧妙地散佈在整张专辑中,令这些旧日歌曲忽然有了拉丁音乐的鲜活,在选曲上也就让整张专辑有了完整衔接的感觉。Monty自谓曾在他年少时对他有著重要意义的”Too Young”不难让人听出大师对青春记忆的追想与今日情感的饱满熟成,搭配上传唱多年的经典情歌”Never Let Me Go”,似乎将那美好的爵士年代唤回眼前,本就带著拉丁气味的”Calypso Blues”在专辑首尾相呼应,通过Monty对拉丁音乐语法的熟稔,为每一格经典画面揭开序幕与拉下终幕,完美的演出。这样在细节上的极其用心,也惟有通过Chesky厂牌向来高度讲究的录音技术才能被完整呈现。高度传真的录音原则令Monty费心经营的每段旋律和节奏都被真实送到乐迷耳中,让人彷彿置身录音现场,一个不小心就会被交错的三重奏给带著坠入时光隧道,听见那些声音在自己的四周流过。

Monty Alexander follows up his tribute to Tony Bennett with an homage to another classic jazz singer, Nat King Cole. Also recorded in New York City at St. Peter's Episcopal Church with the same trio of Chicagoans Lorin Cohen on bass and drummer George Fludas, the veteran pianist seems more in his element with this artist's repertoire, one that sharply defined his own sound and thinking about popular jazz. Though all of the tunes selected are not so closely linked to Cole's hit parade songbook, the way Alexander plays them with subtlety and depth does reflect what made Cole the king in the late '50s and early '60s. With the immaculate sound and performance by this fine trio–not to mention that they don't play Cole's songbook by rote or by the numbers–it's hard to fault the effort, heart, and soul behind a concept album that should delight many jazz listeners.

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