This aptly named set was recorded on November 28, 1972, in Barcelona, Spain. Although many of Ben Webster's European sessions suffered when compared to his American ones, this outing is one of the exceptions, due in no small part to the fluid piano work of Tete Montoliu. Supported by a rhythm section of Eric Peter on bass and Peer Wyboris on drums, both Webster and Montoliu have plenty of room to breathe, and the result is a wonderful and pleasant set highlighted by the opening track, "Ben's Blues," and an easy, elegant version of "Sweet Georgia Brown." Webster's trademark breathy tenor sax tone is in full supply here, but the real revelation is Montoliu, who proves to be a marvelous jazz pianist, making Gentle Ben somewhat of an overlooked gem.
Mestre i deixeble s’uneixen per signar una peça única en la discografia jazzística catalana. Tete Montoliu al piano elèctric i Jordi Sabatés a l’acústic culminen un treball intens i controvertit alhora. El disc Vampyria, enregistrat el juliol de 1974, va ser escollit per la revista Jaç núm. 25 ( "Els 100 millors discos del jazz català" ) com el treball que encapçalava una llista valorativa de 100 referències del jazz dels Països Catalans. Vampyria és el resultat de combinar tradició i transgressió amb uns signes d’identitat pròpia absolutament irrefutables.
Reissue with the latest remastering. Features original cover artwork. A set of folk songs, but handled in a way that isn't folksy at all – thanks to the lyrical genius of Spanish pianist Tete Montoliu! The music here has sources in older tunes from Catalonia – as you'd guess from the title – but Tete's handling of the material is all jazz, all the way through – with a rich amount of solo introspection that really moves the tunes past their simple melodies, in ways that are even more expansive than some of the Scandinavian 60s experiments with folk and jazz! The album's also perhaps one of Montoliu's best-remembered of the 70s – a date that circulated strongly, thanks to Tete's incomparable solo performance throughout – very expressive, but never overdone.
Reissue with the latest remastering. Features original cover artwork. Comes with a descripton in Japanese. A stunning setting for this wonderful tenorist – a record that has the great George Coleman blowing with only the piano of Tete Montoliu for accompaniment – with really wonderful results! George has all that full, deep tone we know from his bigger group recordings – and it really seems to set the record on fire from the start, and bring out these bold rhythmic lines from Montoliu, who plays with a blocky sense of power that reminds us of his sublime late 60s album for MPS!
Reissue with the latest remastering. Features original cover artwork. Comes with a descripton in Japanese. That's yellow dolphin street, not "Green Dolphin Street" – a very special place where Tete Montoliu unfurls a beautiful selection of solo piano numbers! Tete's really at the height of his powers here – and spins out wonderfully without any bass or drums, yet with all the complex, fluid feel that you might expect from a trio. The range of tonal colors is wonderful – and always delivered with a rhythmic impulse, even when Montoliu is flying free – on titles that include "Yellow Dolphin Street", "Napoleon", "Where Are You", "Waltz For Nicolien", and "I Hate You".
This wonderful studio date by the talented Catalonian blind pianist Tete Montoliu (1933-1997) was recorded in his native Barcelona in March of 1992, but until now it had been only available on a long out of print CD issued in Japan by the Alfa Jazz label shortly after being recorded. The renowned VENUS label presents it back again for everyone to enjoy. Tete is backed by New Orleans drummer Idris Muhammad, and Netherlands born bassist Hein Van de Geyn, and the program features a selection of Catalan traditional songs, plus two versions of songs by the remarkable Joan Manuel Serrat.
The blind Catalonian pianist Tete Montoliu is in top form throughout this 1990 trio date with bassist George Mraz and drummer Lewis Nash, though the label evidently didn't get around to releasing it until a few years after his death. The session draws from standards and timeless jazz compositions, all played with Montoliu's inventive touch. He throws quite a few twists into his complex setting of "Stella by Starlight," shows off his chops in an intense workout of "Autumn Leaves," and pulls out all stops with the furious rendition of "A Night in Tunisia." The pianist's lyrical side is showcased in ballads like "Easy Living" and "I Fall in Love Too Easily." Montoliu returns to a bit of flashy playing in his original blues composition "Please I Like to Be Gentle." Mraz has numerous solos, all of which are up to his standard, while Nash provides terrific support throughout the recording.
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, but his SteepleChase albums (starting in 1971) are generally available; he also cut one date for Contemporary (1979) and recorded for Enja and Soul Note.