Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Montego Joe

An LP on the Transatlantic label from 1965 featuring some instrumental jazz with an extra helping of timbales and conga drums.
Not much is found on internet about Montego Joe and I can be pretty sure thats not him on the sleeve!

Francis Squibb in the copious sleeve notes says -

"Montego Joe's personal history is sketched in the notes of his first LP on Prestige, but one correction must be noted: the correct date of his arrival in the United Staes from his native Jamaica is 1939, when he was "nine or ten years old."
In the years since and especially the last decade, he has become increasingly concerned about public and professional mis-understanding about the conga as a musical instrument - equating it with the bongo drums, for example and associating it with "beatniks".
The instrument has a distinguished history, having been used as a medium of communication before and during the days of slavery - not, as is often said, through some sort of primitive morse code, but through pitch variation in imitation of speech melody. Thus, from a strictly musical standpoint, if properly played the conga can be far more "experessive" than most of the drums and percussion devices used in jazz - a fact proved by this and his earlier LP."

Also playing on the LP are Al Gibbons - tenor sax, arranger and conductor. Leonard Goines - trumpet. Arthur jenkins - piano. Ed Thompson - bass. Milford Graves - drums , timbales. Sonny Morgan - miscellaneous percussion.

Montego Joe - Give It Up

Montego Joe - Ewe

Montego Joe - The Bata Blues

Montego Joe - Concumba

Montego Joe - Lexington Avenure Line


Oracle said...

You can never be sure, really. Think Walter Carlos...Thanks for the share. :O

Anonymous said...

I met Montego Joe tonight in nyc. I was playing at sweet ryhthm which is a jazz club in greenwich village. He was such a nice guy and looks to be in good health. It is an honor to meet him espiecally after reading about his history with this music.