Friday, March 25, 2011

J. R. Monterose - The Message

Frank Anthony Monterose Jr. ("J.R." is simply a corruption of the Junior) is a native of Detroit, where he was born in 1927. He is not, however, a Detroiter by any other token than the accident of birth, for before he was old enough to talk, let alone blow a horn, he was transplanted by his family to Utica, N.Y., which has been home base ever since.
J.R.'s musical studies were centered mainly on the clarinet; he had very little formal saxophone training. The first great influences were Coleman Hawkins and the late Chu Berry; but "the real inspiration that decided me to take up tenor seriously rather than clarinet or alto was, believe it or not, Tex Beneke."
J.R. was still in his early teens when his extra-scholastic musical experiences began to broaden, all the way from the Utica Junior Symphony to a nearby strip joint. Meanwhile he was learning a few things about modern harmony. "Most of my influences in learning chord changes were piano players. I dig pure harmonies; I'm for the Bud Powell school. Sam Mancuso, a guitarist and pianist with a real natural talent helped me find the way."
After working with various territory bands in 1948 and '49, J.R. caught his first taste of the big time, in a somewhat distilled form, when he was invited to tour with an orchestra led by the late Henry "Hot Lips" Busse in 1950. "There was some good young fellows in the band," he recalls, "and once in a while there was an opportunity for a few solo bars." But after a long tour that wound up in California he felt sated with enough shuffle rhythm to last him for the rest of his life.
Back home, he worked locally around Utica and Syracuse through most of 1951 before spending six months with Buddy Rich--"That was when Buddy had a big band, with Davey Schildkraut, Allen Eager, and Philly Joe Jones playing second drums. But you just don't get enough blowing to do in a big band. After six months I was drugged with my own playing, and I went back home and spent the next couple of years working in little joints but with good men."
The next opportunity to display himself came in the Claude Thornhill band. Again, there were distinguished colleagues, among them Gene Quill and Dick Sherman, but again there was the frustration of big band limitations, and after a couple of months he decided he couldn't make it. Next came a steady gig for a solid year at the Nut Club in Greenwich Village with Nick Stabulas, under a liberal arrangement that allowed him to send subs in anytime he liked. This offered him chances for gigs with such intrepid modern jazzmen as Teddy Charles and Charles Mingus. "I learned something from those associations; I didn't go about it the same way they did, from studying; I got it all from listeneing, but I guess I was doing what they wanted and they seemed to dig it."
LEONARD FEATHER, from the liner notes, J.R. Monterose, Blue Note
Source :

J. R. Monterose
The Message


1. Straight Ahead (Monterose) 5:30
2. Violets For Your Furs (Dennis, Adair) 2:47
3. Green Street Scene (Monterose) 6:18
4. Chafic (Monterose) 5:14
5. You Know That (Monterose) 5:44
6. I Remember Clifford (Golson) 5:38
7. Short Bridge (Monterose) 6:36

J. R. Monterose - ts
Tommy Flanagan - p
Jimmy Garrison - b
Pete La Roca - dr

Recorded at the Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey ; November 24, 1959

See also


Melanchthon said...

Anonymous said...

Merci bien pour cet album. Cooljazz

fredonline said...

Many thanks for this new to me JR Montrose album ;o)

Granny Hines said...


I have asked you a dozen times to contact me about that Brownie set "you" uploaded here.

Please e-mail me

rm said...

merci beaucoup

Anonymous said...

interesting lineup..thanks

theblueamos said...

Grewat thank you for being you.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Mel.

Bill said...

Marvellous album.
Thank you Mel.

James A. Naismith said...

Thanks! Looking forward to it.

jose juan said...

I had only one Monterose record, but now I added this wonderful one, thanks a lot.

Philo said...

J. R. Monterose - The Message (1959)

I am listening & enjoying.

The music swings & that remastered sound is great.


Anonymous said...

Keep posting stuff like this i really like it

neil said...

Many thanks for the opportunity to upgrade my mp3s, mel...

Kneigh said...

Many thanx for this great J.R. Monterose, Mr. Melanchthon!! Listening to it as I write, and it's a pleasure!!

Baron said...

Thanks Mel

jazzwallah said...

J. R. Monterose
The Message
A new link to this please. Great blog.