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J. R. Monterose (The Rudy Van Gelder Edition) [Remastered]

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An under-sung great of the tenor saxophone, J.R. Monterose recorded his first date as a leader for Blue Note in 1956. This session united him with pianist Horace Silver, drummer Philly Joe Jones, bassist Wilbur Ware, and Chicago multi-instrumentalist Ira Sullivan (here on trumpet), and it's an absolute barnstormer. Three tunes by the leader and one each by Jones, Paul Chambers, and Donald Byrd make up this fine hardbop gem. “Wee Jay” is a smoothly powerful opener, with sharp and staccato turns entering into “what the heck is he doing?” tenor choruses, as well as Sullivan’s lilting and incisive solo. Silver is curiously austere in his short statements, prompting a stripped-down trading of fours between drums and bass. Pulling together Rollins, Johnny Griffin, and Wayne Shorter on “Bobbie Pin,” Monterose changes the tune’s dynamic from a midtempo swinger into a quixotic, exploratory workout. An auspicious debut that was followed by obscurity, J.R. Monterose is far from the average post-bop staple.


Born: January 19, 1927 in Detroit, MI

Genre: Jazz

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

J.R. Monterose (not to be confused with fellow tenor Jack Montrose) is most famous for a gig that he personally did not enjoy, playing with Charles Mingus in 1956 and recording on Mingus' breakthrough album Pithecanthropus Erectus. He grew up in Utica, NY, played in territory bands in the Midwest, and then moved to New York City in the early '50s. Monterose played with Buddy Rich (1952) and Claude Thornhill and recorded with (among others) Teddy Charles, Jon Eardley, and Eddie Bert. After leaving...
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J. R. Monterose (The Rudy Van Gelder Edition) [Remastered], J.R. Monterose
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  • $9.99
  • Genres: Jazz, Music
  • Released: Sep 01, 2008

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