Reference: FSRCD 5022
Bar code: 8427328650229
An outstanding veteran pianist from Barcelona, Tete Montoliu was born blind. By the mid-50s he was regularly sitting in with visiting American artists, including Lionel Hampton. By the end of the decade he had ventured north to play at a number of important European jazz festivals and had also played in Scandinavia. Montoliu's own recording career began in 1958, and he was to prove a prolific recording artist.
"Our colleague Peter Gamble reviewed volume one in Jazz Journal, April 2014 and Ive no quibble with what he said. The intriguing thing about this project is Marianos apparent reluctance at the time to work with Songbook material, those old-fashioned songs, as Jordi Pujol paraphrases his response. Familiarity sometimes breeds contempt, but in the right circumstances contempt can flip-flop back into affection and what one hears from these further sides is a genuine warmth.
Someone came in as the disc was playing and asked if it was Lee Konitz. Theres a superficial resemblance, of course, but Marianos tone is looser, less acidulous, more folksy, and he doesnt have Konitzs obsessive instinct for deconstruction of a sequence. These songs remain precisely that. Its possible to sing You Stepped Out Of A Dream (delightfully given as steeped on the cover, which is just about right on reflection) to Marianos unfolding of the line and I Thought About You has a narrative solidity one never got from Konitz even at his most discursive. I sometimes though by no means always find Montoliu a touch over-refined, but here hes a perfect complement to Marianos tale-spinning, throwing up effective backdrops and interposing his own always interesting ideas. It makes for a lovely set and the Hermeto Pascoal tune prompts one of my favourite performances by either man."
Brian Morton -May, 2014