395

Han Bennink / Michiel Borstlap / Ernst Glerum: Monk

Mark Corroto By

Sign in to view read count
Han Bennink / Michiel Borstlap / Ernst Glerum: Monk Pity the straight man that has to play alongside the comedic drummer Han Bennink. In his 50+ years of music making, no gesture, tap, thump, or strike has gone unnoticed. And while he has covered the music of Thelonious Monk before, never has Monk, as interpreted by Bennink, sounded better.

On paper this recording, a piano trio, figures for a standard trip around Monk's planet. Funny how this music was considered odd or strange, back in the day. The twelve tracks heard are all familiar fare to the fan—that is, of course, until Bennink gets involved.

Dutch pianist Michiel Borstlap is a chameleon of a player, equally comfortable in rock, jazz, fusion, or classical music. The third member of the trio is bassist Ernst Glerum, a veteran of the infamous ICP Orchestra and a regular player in all matters of the New Dutch Swing.

There is no doubt who is directing things here. Playing from a single snare drum, Bennink talks Monk's language. For his part, Borstlap eschews the straight Monk imitation. That, of course, could be disastrous. He prefers a slightly more modern approach, updating Monk's stride for thicker chords and a pinch of sentimentality rarely heard in Monk's playing.

But what can you do when Bennink is playing all over his single snare drum, shuffling notes, and changing the time at will? Unlike fellow Dutch pianist Misha Mengelberg, Borstlap chooses not to go toe-to-toe with Bennink. On "Evidence," he dances around the drummer, sticking to a two-handed bluesy swing that Herbie Hancock might have summoned. He rounds the edges that Bennink folds sharply, providing a gentle swing to Bennink's hijinks.

Alongside Alexander von Schlippenbach's Monk's Casino (Intakt, 2005), this is certainly one of the finest Monk tributes to come along in recent years.



Visit Han Bennink, Michiel Borstlap and Ernst Glerum on the web.


Track Listing: Four In One; Think of One; Mysterioso; Skippy; Pannonica; Epistrophy; Nutty (alt. take); Bye-Ya; Crepuscule with Nellie; Evidence; Let's Cool One; Ask Me Now.

Personnel: Han Bennink: snare drum; Michiel Borstlap: piano; Ernst Glerum: acoustic bass.

Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Gramercy Park Music | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture CD/LP/Track Review The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Coldest Second Yesterday CD/LP/Track Review Coldest Second Yesterday
by John Sharpe
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Chicago II CD/LP/Track Review Chicago II
by Doug Collette
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Follow Your Heart CD/LP/Track Review Follow Your Heart
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read "Interstellar Space" CD/LP/Track Review Interstellar Space
by Sacha O'Grady
Published: May 29, 2016
Read "Ubuntu" CD/LP/Track Review Ubuntu
by James Nadal
Published: March 29, 2016
Read "Closer Than Before" CD/LP/Track Review Closer Than Before
by Mark Sullivan
Published: October 14, 2016
Read "Mind Behind Closed Eyes" CD/LP/Track Review Mind Behind Closed Eyes
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: November 22, 2016
Read "Anatta" CD/LP/Track Review Anatta
by Budd Kopman
Published: June 3, 2016
Read "Zentuary" CD/LP/Track Review Zentuary
by John Kelman
Published: December 25, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

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!