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The Music I Like to Play, Vol. 4

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Album Review

Tete Montoliu's final solo piano CD, which was also his last release for Soul Note, is the fourth of an excellent series for the label. Mixing standards, swing, bop, and hard bop compositions, Montoliu consistently comes up with imaginative treatments. His rollicking take of Milt Jackson's "Bluesology" is followed by a lyrical arrangement of Duke Ellington's "Sophisticated Lady," though the latter piece incorporates a few uptempo Oscar Peterson-like runs. His choppy reworking of "All the Things You Are" borders on the avant-garde at times, though his version actually should be described as post-bop. He shows a bit of playfulness in his approach to the ballad "Nancy With the Laughing Face." Benny Golson's "Fair Weather" is the least familiar tune, though it has previously turned up on landmark releases like Art Farmer's Modern Art, which Montoliu alludes to in his rendition. Although Montoliu would record several additional CDs after this session, this is easily one of his most essential releases.


Born: 28 March 1933 in Barcelona, Spain

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s

An outstanding veteran pianist from Spain, Tete Montoliu was born blind. He learned to read music in Braille when he was seven and developed impressive technique on piano. He recorded with Lionel Hampton in 1956, had his first session as a leader in 1958, and played with the touring Roland Kirk in 1963. Through the years, he also worked with such visiting Americans as Kenny Dorham, Dexter Gordon, Ben Webster, Lucky Thompson, and even Anthony Braxton. Tete Montoliu's visits to the U.S. were very infrequent,...
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The Music I Like to Play, Vol. 4, Tete Montoliu
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