241

T.S. Monk: Crosstalk

Robert Middleton By

Sign in to view read count
T.S. Monk's latest release, Crosstalk flirts perilously close to smooth jazz with it's drum machine fills and synthesizer washes, but make no mistake, this is masterfully performed jazz by a musician who knows exactly what he's doing. After the great critical and commercial success of "Monk on Monk," T.S. decided it was safe to finally do what he's dreamed of for years: blend elements of pop and funk with jazz to create something that was truly his own — as he says "to come across as a cross between Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers and Blood Sweat and Tears.". He's succeeded remarkably well. The CD and the T.S. Monk Band has a lot going for it. Don Sickler has selected and arranged a majority of the tunes and his musical tastes are impeccable. One wonderful surprise is "Smile of the Snake" that appeared on Art Farmer's great 1987 CD, "Blame It on My Youth." And although many of the tunes are on the smooth side, all the solos are beautifully conceived. For instance, on the ballad, "A Touching Affair," the trading of solos between flute and flugelhorn and then soprano and alto saxophones is wonderfully mellow without the cloying sweetness of most smooth jazz. "Squeaky Clean" by pianist Ray Gallon is the only really straight ahead sounding tune, with a Monkish feel to it and "A Chant for Bu" swings with a syncopated rhythm. The title Tune "Cross Talk" could be from one of Miles Davis' mid 80's CDs. Believe it or not, T.s. even sings on two tracks, the rousing "Somebody Give Me a Drink" and the ballad "Just a Little Loin" where he's joined by vocalist Patricia Barber. Both are very enjoyable. All the solos from Willie Williams, Bob Porcelli and Don Sickler are terrific—the harmony and interplay are especially notable. Like all great jazz albums, there's so much good stuff going on here that repeated listenings yield new treasures. I predict this album will do very well because there's so much to enjoy, no matter what kind of jazz you like.

| Record Label: N-Coded Music | Style: Funk/Groove


Shop

More Articles

Read Road to Forever CD/LP/Track Review Road to Forever
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Avenida Graham CD/LP/Track Review Avenida Graham
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 27, 2017
Read TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2) CD/LP/Track Review TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2)
by Nicola Negri
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Goat Man & The House of the Dead CD/LP/Track Review Goat Man & The House of the Dead
by Dave Wayne
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by James Nadal
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read "Nexus" CD/LP/Track Review Nexus
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: June 1, 2016
Read "My Foolish Heart" CD/LP/Track Review My Foolish Heart
by Geno Thackara
Published: February 3, 2017
Read "House Of Waters" CD/LP/Track Review House Of Waters
by Roger Farbey
Published: November 14, 2016
Read "Cantos Invisíveis" CD/LP/Track Review Cantos Invisíveis
by Karl Ackermann
Published: January 13, 2017
Read "Reflections" CD/LP/Track Review Reflections
by Andrew Luhn
Published: March 23, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!