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Monty Alexander: Forever Lovin’ Bob

Monty Alexander

Seven years after Monty Alexander made the hit CD Stir It Up: The Music of Bob Marley (Telarc), the Jamaican-American pianist returned to the Soul Rebel for Concrete Jungle (Telarc). “I could go back to Bob a thousand times,” Alexander says of the reggae legend who would have turned 61 this year. “The first one did so well, but if we were going to do another, I didn’t want to do it in New York–which is a great place to do a record–but instead go to the place where I come from, my home town.” That’s Kingston, where Alexander got his start as a 15-year-old dropping in on recording sessions in the old Federal Studios, which Marley bought shortly before his death and renamed Tuff Gong Studios.

“I assembled a bunch of musicians who play the songs with almost a kind of reverence not just for the songs but also for what Bob Marley was talking about,” Alexander says. “He was like Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela. So when we play the music we have a strong sense of the value about what was going on. That happened on the first record; even more so the second time.”

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