J.R. Monterose

As a young tenor player J.R.Monterose first started playing around the Utica, New York area in 1946. He joined the Buddy Rich Big Band in 1951, a gig that lasted only six months, and then he settled in Syracuse for a while playing in the clubs there, moving on to join the Claude Thornhill Band in 1954, but longed to play in the small clubs so he headed for New York City where he soon found work at the Nut Club in Greenwich Village. Occasionally he would go out on the road with Teddy Charles, a group that boasted the talents of Charles Mingus. He was later to join a Mingus led group and recorded with that group "Pithecanthropus Erectus" for Atlantic Records in 1956. He left Mingus when Charlie "punched out" Jackie McLean, and joined Kenny Dorham, with whose band he recorded three albums.

Throughout 1957 and until the fall of 1958 J.R. freelanced around New York City, and then headed to Albany and after playing with the Terry Gibbs Big Band on a tour which took him back to New York he next left for Montreal, Canada where he worked with Rene Thomas.

Next New York, where he played with Lionel Hampton, Pepper Adams and a short gig with the pop group Jay and the Americans, then he was off to Los Angeles (1965-1967). After playing club dates with Tommy Flanagan he got restless again and went to Europe where he stayed until 1975.

Returning to the U.S.in 1975, he found he could not play due to illness and it was only in 1979 that he came back on the scene playing in Albany.

Ilness took it's toll in September 1993 when J.R.Monterose died at the age of 63.

Recommended recordings:"Round Midnight at the Cafe Bohemia"
with Kenny Dorham
Blue Note B2AS-33576
"J.R.Monterose"Blue Note B21Z-29102
"The Message"Fresh Sound FSRCD-201
"A little Pleasure" with Tommy FlanaganReservoir RSR CD 109