Jose Reyes

Jose Reyes

Who was J.R. Montrose and featuring his debut album “J.R. Montrose”

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Have you ever heard of a jazz musician named J.R. Montrose? Not too many have. I am featuring his debut album “J.R. Montrose” so the Jazz Con Class listeners here could learn more and in a first hand manner. There’s something about these great musicians that fascinate music lover of all kinds but only to suddenly disappear. The listeners here will immediately understand the talent level of J.R. Montrose as soon as this album begins. He recorded very little commercially after this album. Why? Why would he not continue to make more records? A talent wasted, many listeners will say. Well, J.R. Montrose didn’t stop playing altogether, he just took a different path. Nevertheless, it would have been quite interesting if he continued collaborating with all the others superstars of the Hard Bop era and later on in the Avant-Garde era. Let’s not forget that he was an integral component of the famous Mingus album, “Pithecanthropus Erectus” and which I featured here on Jazz Con Class a while ago. There’s no doubt about it, he was just as good! Check the schedule link for play times, enjoy!

About the Album:

J.R. Monterose’s first session as a leader was a thoroughly enjoyable set of swinging, straight-ahead bop that revealed him as a saxophonist with a knack for powerful, robust leads in the vein of Sonny Rollins and Coleman Hawkins. With a stellar supporting group of pianist Horace Silver, trumpeter Ira Sullivan, bassist Wilbur Ware, and drummer “Philly” Joe Jones, Monterose has recorded a set of bop that swings at a measured pace and offers many delightful moments. Throughout the session, Monterose sounds vigorous, whether he’s delivering hard-swinging solos or waxing lyrical……..Learn More

J.R. Montrose (Left) with Kenny Dorham

Biography of J.R. Montrose:

J. R. Monterose (January 19, 1927 – September 16, 1993), born Frank Anthony Peter Vincent Monterose, Jr. in Detroit, Michigan, was an American jazz tenor (and occasional soprano) saxophonist.

J.R. or JR (derived from Jr.) Monterose grew up in Utica, New York, where his family moved a few months after his birth. He began formal clarinet studies at thirteen, but was largely self taught as a tenor saxophonist, which he took up at fifteen after hearing Glenn Miller band soloist Tex Beneke. His earliest stylistic influences were Coleman Hawkins and Chu Berry, but, as he told critic Leonard Feather, he also found harmonic inspiration in pianists, citing particularly the example of Bud Powell and the instruction of Utica-based guitarist and pianist Sam Mancuso in helping him learn how to use chord changes……..Learn More

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