Thelonious Sphere Monk is a musical giant. His contribution as one of the founding fathers of Bebop is certain beyond doubt but it would be far too little to reduce Monk. With his incomparable aesthetic and his bizarre improvisations he broke dams towards new listening habits and musical freedom; he also created not few compositions which now are omnipresent.
To copy Monk is an undertaking doomed to fail.
The New York Trio around pianist Steven Reich, which has interpreted a dozen of his pieces for the centennial of this original jazzman does not attempt such. Here Monk is met with highest respect but also with great independence. Often gently instead of harshly, warm sounding with melodiousness and unchanging swinging.
2014 this trio merged with Steven Reich, oscillating between Berlin and New York, Dmitri Kolesnik, bass and Jimmy Madison, drums, both decade-long strongholds in the jazz scene of New York. This first CD of the congenial trio is dedicated to the godfather Monk.
The New York Trio develops sensible sound patterns, with bassist Kolesnik, drummer Madison and pianist Reich acting with magnificent elegance and rigorous equality. In addition some rarely heard pieces such as “Ba Lue Bolivar Ba-Lues” and “Ugly Beauty” are performed.
Steven A. Reich – piano
Dmitri Kolesnikov – bass
Jimmy Madison – drums
01 Think Of One 5:01
02 Ask Me Now 5:32
03 Ba-Lue Bolivar Ba-Lues-Are 4:48
04 Evidence 3:30
05 Monk´s Mood 5:47
06 Nutty 5:39
07 Off Minor 3:56
08 Reflections 5:35
09 Rhythm A `Ning 4:09
10 Ugly Beauty 3:13
11 Monk´s Dream 4:08
12 52nd Street Theme 2:40`
All Compositions by Thelonious Monk