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Monk's Music Trio: Monk's Bones

Mark F. Turner By

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Think of One: A swinging trio with two outrageous trombones.

If you're wondering whether this is just another Thelonious Monk tribute, think again, because the Monk's Music Trio ups the ante in every way, continuing to creatively explore the music of one of jazz's most celebrated pianists. Monk's Bones is the trio's third release, following Harmony of Odd Numbers and Think of One. Led by jazz drummer Chuck Berstein, pianist Si Perkoff, and bassist Sam Bevan, the latest recording is now more brightly lit with the addition of two trombones played by master trombonist Roswell Rudd and Max Perkoff (Si Perkoff's son).

The trio's previous recordings were already tight, and now with the new brass, the music adopts a more flamboyant and spirited persona. Odd arrangements are a staple of Monk tunes, and the trio exploits this with the added horns. The trombones start the melody on Monk's Dream with the piano bringing up the rear and everyone adding great solos. The horns (usually with one muted) are like a pair of lovers that moan, quarrel, or sing in harmony. There's a sense of wit and style, done with impeccable musicianship and an emphasis on maintaining the essence of Monk, but also creating music that feels good.

Monk's music is about swing and varied moods, and the quintet extracts the most out of these selections. "San Francisco Holiday bops heartily, "Blue Monk moans a soulful lament, but the most outrageous rendition goes to "Friday the 13th, where Bernstein plays a berimbau (Brazilian single-stringed percussion instrument) along with the trombones and an excellent bass solo which gives the tune an aboriginal Delta blues vibe. Hats off again to the Monk's Music Trio for another glowing recording.


Track Listing: Monk's Dream;Crepuscule with Nellie;San Francisco Holiday; Ugly Beauty;Little Rootie Tootie;'Round Midnight; Friday the 13th; Blue Monk;I Mean You.

Personnel: Chuck Bernstein: drums; Si Perkoff: piano; Sam Bevan: bass. Special Guests: Roswell Rudd, Max Perkoff: trombone.

Title: Monk's Bones | Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: CMB Records


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