Live at Bubba's is a previously-unissued recording of the Jamaican jazz piano icon Monty Alexander captured live in Fort Lauderdale, FL at Bubba's Jazz Restaurant on August 6, 1982. Recorded by legendary engineer Mack Emerman, Live at Bubba's features bassist Paul Berner, drummer Duffy Jackson and the acclaimed percussionist Robert Thomas, Jr. The deluxe limited-edition 2CD set includes an extensive booklet with photos, essays and interviews.
In his overview essay, Jazz historian Willard Jenkins says of the resultant recording, “For this date at Bubba’s, Monty Alexander drew up neatly balanced set lists that touched upon several facets of his expansive bag, including standards, ballads, blues, island perspectives and southern exposures ranging as far south as Brazil. Love You Madly provides a wonderful survey of the leader’s gifts and his enormous rhythmic palette on the wings of his consummate piano artistry.”
LOVE YOU MADLY is the perfect title for a performance in time that led to a heightened momentum musically by musicians who were at the top of their craft embraced by an audience that was right in the pocket with them. A “love fest" if you will. Bubba’s was ‘the hang’ in those days, capturing this musical effort in time will truly be a keepsake for many.
Having the honor of promoting this musical effort hits home for me in many ways, for my brother Duffy held Monty in the highest esteem, looked up to him like an older brother and just savored their musical moments together. “When I was 17,” drummer Jackson says, “Monty gave me a golden opportunity to learn to accompany the artistry of a true maestro. When tough love was needed, he knew what to do, but he was a loving big brother, musically speaking. He inspired me to treat the music with respect, and he was patient with me because I was a young little dude just out of high school” said Jackson.
Monty had a way of taming Duffy’s Duffyism’s and Duffy respected him for those lessons and became family to us all.
This offering of “highlight” comes from a heart that remembers many a nights watching my big brother play his heart out for the people. I cherish those memories, and how proud I felt to be his sister and to support all the sweat and tears that came with his excellence. You see, my brother had his physical challenges in life, and inwardly was a very deep thinker, with an extremely sensitive heart that could melt a room with his being. He always rose to the occasion of “putting the grin on the groove and the beat at your feet”, that was his mantra. They say the way to heal sorrow is to remember, holding glimpses of life gone by to soothe your hearts vacancy…Many are flooding in since his passing, but I choose to carry on with Duffy’s smile within, his comical comebacks, silly licks on the drums and soulful nights of playing the piano, what a signature style he so effortlessly breathed life into.
Monty states “I am heartbroken today at the news of Duffy Jackson’s passing... but so glad that I knew Duffy as a 16-year-old and had the opportunity to have him play with me live and on several of my albums—I watched him through the years becoming this incredible drummer and I know he’s in a better place playing with the big band in the sky. He exemplified passion and enthusiasm.
I’ll never forget you Duffy!
With eternal love,
Your pal Monty
“Duffy, I will remember the vibe of “The Jackson’s” and will remember that ‘Love Is The Answer’ no matter how many lies are thrown at you in life. Stand tall, know the truth and keep growing and movin’ as a Jackson. I admired you all my life and that is what I will hold in my heart. Thank you for being my big brother through the good times and challenging ones. The truth in life, sets me free.
I will always miss you. You are now at peace, all the melodies you played brought you to Glory. I LOVE YOU MADLY, rest in final peace…