Geri Allen Quartet: Philadelphia, USA, December 4, 2010
The concert concluded with what amounted to a blues variations by Allen, and for an encore the group performed Monk's "Well You Needn't," which included a piano/drums call-and-response that suggested that jazz's convention of trading of fours and eights may have derived from the call-and-response between preacher and congregation in African American churches. Indeed, Monk did a tour as pianist for a black evangelist in his youth, where he was exposed to many evocative, resurrecting church rituals, including the "ring shout" that he referenced in his onstage rotating twist, that made many people think he was crazy. In this connection, it's worth pointing out a minor omission in the liner notes to Allen's recording, which stated that Monk adopted his middle name (Sphere) in order not to appear square. Monk didn't concoct the name; as Charles Hollander points out, it was his given middle name after his grandmother Sphere Batts, and it was only after he first discovered it in the 1940s that he used it as a moniker to prove he was not square.
This concert represented one of many high level, high powered events in Perez's Jazz Up Close series often rebroadcasted at a later date on WRTI-FMand was the second of four Panamonk concerts scheduled for the 2010/2011 season, with Randy Weston and Martial Solal coming up in the New Year.