With American All-Stars
A series of heated performances from the brilliant pianist
Tete Montoliu (1933-97), a blind pianist from Catalonia, Spain, was one of the major jazz pianists of his era.
A superb bop-based pianist, Montoliu was on the level of the top Americans, carving out his own virtuosic style out of the straight ahead jazz tradition.
This extraordinary Spanish television special from 1981 teams Montoliu with such notables as bassist Ron Carter (including a duet on “Old Folks/There Is No Greater Love”), drummer Art Blakey, Blakey’s Jazz Messengers (with pianist James Williams, trumpeter Wynton Marsalis, altoist Bobby Watson and tenor-saxophonist Billy Pierce), the great Sonny Stitt (“Walkin’” and “Lover Man”), tenor-saxophonist Harold Land (“Speak Low”), bassist Niels-Henning Orsted Pedersen and drummer Billy Higgins.
Nearly all of the performances are taken uptempo, giving viewers an exhilarating series of heated and swinging solos from Tete Montoliu and his guests.