Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

1

Gregory Lewis: Organ Monk Blue

Hrayr Attarian By

Sign in to view read count
Pianist Thelonious Monk is organist Gregory Lewis' primary source of inspiration, so much so that Lewis has adopted the stage name Organ Monk. His first two releases were mostly homages to Monk and replete with the latter's originals. After forays into other material, including the poignant The Breathe Suite (Self Produced, 2017) about recent racial injustices that unnecessarily claimed young lives, Lewis returns to the "genius of modern music" with Organ Monk Blue.

On the current album Lewis is in an intimate trio setting with guitarist Marc Ribot and drummer Jeremy "Bean" Clemons. The three musicians exhibit delightful camaraderie and satisfying synergy. For example, the band intriguingly reconstructs "Blue Sphere" infusing it with hefty dose of bluesy spontaneity. Ribot and Lewis' eerie call and response exchanges over Clemons' sharp percussive bursts set an otherworldly mood. As Ribot's sharp, piercing phrases bounce off Lewis' dense and angular chords and Clemons' kit roars and rumbles in the backdrop the tune becomes simultaneously elemental and complex.

Lewis has a soulful style and a blistering tone both of which are demonstrated on such gems as "Misterioso." He embellishes the main theme with passion and gusto as his gritty solo simmers and glows with indigo hues. Ribot takes his turn in the spotlight, over lush organ and drum refrains, letting loose a sinewy and captivating improvisation.

Lewis demonstrates his virtuosity on, among others, the riotous "Raise Four." His deceptively facile and fluid performance is full of breathtakingly fast and daring lines Clemons' swaggering beats and Ribot's full bodied guitar sounds bring in hints of early rock and roll to the piece.

Organ Monk Blue is a high energy and utterly enjoyable recording. It is a novel albeit not necessarily innovative, reinterpretation of Monk's work. It is, nevertheless, a welcome addition to Lewis' evolving and impressive discography.

Track Listing: Green Chimneys; Blue Sphere; Raise Four; Misterioso; Blue Hawk; Nutty; Blues Five Spot; Ba-Lue Bolivar Ba-Lues-Are.

Personnel: Gregory Lewis: Hammond B3; Marc Ribot: guitar; Jeremy Bean Clemons:drums.

Title: Organ Monk Blue | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: Self Produced

Tags

Watch

comments powered by Disqus

Shop

Start your shopping here and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Read East Of The River Nile Album Reviews
East Of The River Nile
By Chris May
February 23, 2019
Read VOX Album Reviews
VOX
By Friedrich Kunzmann
February 23, 2019
Read live@ZKM Album Reviews
live@ZKM
By Bruce Lindsay
February 23, 2019
Read cinder: ember: ashes Album Reviews
cinder: ember: ashes
By Glenn Astarita
February 23, 2019
Read Amour Album Reviews
Amour
By Doug Collette
February 23, 2019
Read Friendly Signs Album Reviews
Friendly Signs
By Don Phipps
February 22, 2019
Read The Adventures of Mr Pottercakes Album Reviews
The Adventures of Mr Pottercakes
By Roger Farbey
February 22, 2019