370

Paul Motian & The Electric Bebop Band: Play Monk and Powell

Ed Kopp By

Sign in to view read count
When you think about Thelonious Monk's or Bud Powell’s music, you think of the piano, the instrument of choice for those two eccentric legends. Drummer Paul Motian adopts a different approach to Monk and Powell with his piano-less Electric Bebop Band.

The name might lead you to believe that this is a fusion outfit, but its music is actually straight-ahead jazz of a very modern variety. Motian’s group includes two electric guitarists (Kurt Rosenwinkel and Steve Cardenas), an electric bassist (the great Steve Swallow) and two tenor saxmen (Chris Potter and Chris Cheek).

Play Monk and Powell is a surprisingly clean-sounding effort given the jerky tempos and angular melodies conceived by Monk and Powell. The rhythm-master Motian leads the way with his varying rhythms, while his sextet experiments with interweaving lines and imaginative solos. Creative as these renderings are, they remain completely faithful to the spirits of the two composers.

Many bands that cover Monk tend to exaggerate the quirky side of his music. Motian and company play it straighter here and bring out the full depth and beauty of the compositions. The five Monk covers sound slightly more interesting to me, but the four Powell tunes fit in nicely. The band’s version of Monk’s "Brilliant Corners" is especially good, as guitars, bass and saxophones converge then diverge, stop then start up again. "Rootie Tootie" is played at a furious tempo, while Powell’s "Wail" bops relentlessly.

The players in the Electric Bebop Band are huge talents, both when soloing and in combination. Everybody shines on these angular tunes, but Steve Swallow’s pure-sounding bass and Chris Potter’s lithe sax deserve special commendation.

Play Monk and Powell is another excellent release from a veteran drummer who always makes interesting music.

| Record Label: Winter & Winter | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read The Wild CD/LP/Track Review The Wild
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 26, 2017
Read This Is Nate Najar CD/LP/Track Review This Is Nate Najar
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 26, 2017
Read Joy Comes Back CD/LP/Track Review Joy Comes Back
by James Nadal
Published: February 26, 2017
Read Apocalypse CD/LP/Track Review Apocalypse
by Julian Derry
Published: February 26, 2017
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 "Perihelion" CD/LP/Track Review Perihelion
by Mark Corroto
Published: June 21, 2016
Read "Hearts & Minds" CD/LP/Track Review Hearts & Minds
by Mark Corroto
Published: September 22, 2016
Read "I Can Do All Things" CD/LP/Track Review I Can Do All Things
by Jack Bowers
Published: May 14, 2016
Read "An Untroublesome Defencelessness" CD/LP/Track Review An Untroublesome Defencelessness
by Mark Corroto
Published: July 22, 2016
Read "Nearly Extinct" CD/LP/Track Review Nearly Extinct
by Mark Corroto
Published: March 17, 2016
Read "Dedication To Sylvia Rexach" CD/LP/Track Review Dedication To Sylvia Rexach
by James Nadal
Published: May 31, 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!