Memories of T

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Click for availability and more information Memories of T, by Ben Riley's Monk Legacy Septet

If you have ever fallen prey to the angular charms of Thelonious Monk's supremely idiosyncratic body of work, I suspect you will enjoy this CD for similar reasons. For one thing, the disc comprises many of the more familiar tunes from the Monk canon; such as Rhythm-a-ning, Pannonica, Straight-No Chaser, Epistrophy and Bemsha Swing. But many contemporary jazz releases feature Monk cuts, which don't capture any of the Klee-like appeal of the originals. Where this release excels is in the arrangements, by trumpeter Dan Sickler, which mimic Monk's comping and soloing, even though there is no piano present. Individual lines, often recognizable quotes from the great man's own recordings, will be divided up between, say, saxophone, guitar and trumpet, with each instrument playing in sequence. The fact that this difficult feat is accomplished with such complete rhythmic assurance by the players reinforces the sense that Monk's spirit is being channeled. Finally, drummer, Ben Riley, a Monk cohort from four decades back, imparts his particularly kinetic time-keeping, so that the proceedings swing as hard as 1965's Live at the It Club (COMP DISC 781.65 MONK); which is saying something.

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This page contains a single entry published on April 8, 2007 5:35 PM.

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