Brian Trainor: Monk & Me
Brian Trainor covers Monk on only four of the fourteen tracks. Smart move. His Monk is the Monk of the academy-trained pianist. To his credit, he allows saxophonist Richie Cole and Steve Marcus to shine on the Monk blowing vehicles “Let’s Cool One” and “Well You Needn’t.” To his credit, he isn’t Monk derivative. Trainor favors the post-bop piano of Bill Evans. His covers of Monk, like Keith Jarrett’s standards repertoire, remain in their own voice. With that said, Trainor’s composition, “Monk & Me,” tosses us a fine curveball. While I listened to it, convinced it was a Monk original, I spun my mental rolodex to come up with the name. Trainor had captured both Thelonious’ playing and writing. Ba-bing! He’s got himself a single, if there were such things as jazz jukeboxes. Kelly Rodrigues’ vocal on “Still We Dream” reminds me of Carmen McRae’s great Sings Monk record. The only disappointment here was bop trumpeter John Swana who traded his axe for the electric EVI. It was weird but not wonderful.
Track List:Let’s Cool One; Hackensack; Bernstein’s Girl; Monk & Me; Cape May Freeway; Face Intro; One Face, One Smile, One Heart; Still We Dream; Straight No Chaser; B’s Waltz; Well You Needn’t; Again To This Star; Cape May Freeway (Rush Hour Mix); Monk & Me (Me & Monk Mix).
Personnel: Brian Trainor