164

Michael Kocour: Speaking in Tongues

Hrayr Attarian By

Sign in to view read count
Recording a tribute album is a brave and often thankless undertaking since listeners and reviewers are bound to compare the musician doing the recording to the one to whom homage is being paid. This becomes a more courageous act when the subject of the album is not one but two giants of modern music: pianists Bud Powell and Thelonious. Monk. Michael Kocour is up to the task on the tasteful and interesting CD, Speaking In Tongues.

Kocour (accompanied frequently but not always by bassist Dwight Kilian and drummer Dom Moio) tackles five compositions by Powell, five by Monk and a medley of two tunes (one by Monk and one by Monk and Kenny Clarke). The talent and the experience of the musicians come through in the first few notes. Kocour successfully reinterprets these melodies by avoiding slavishly copying the composers' own recordings of theses tunes on one hand, and losing their essence on the other. He sheds fresh light on the pieces by bringing a modern sensibility to them through understated yet adventurous improvisations.

The further from the melody line his solos go the closer to the spirit of the composers they get. His reinterpretation of these eleven tracks is definitely in the modern post bop vein, and the support by the other two musicians both in the group interplay and in their solos fits well with the whole theme of the album. This recording does not break new musical ground, but imprints these masterpieces with a modern 21st century style in a manner that invigorates them yet stays true to the essence of their composers. It is a further testament to the timelessness of this music, and an album that would likely have pleased both Bud Powell and Thelonious Monk.

Track Listing: Un Poco Loco; Ugly Beauty; Think of One; Wail; Ask Me Now; Bye-ya; Oblivion; Pannonica/epistrophy; Parisian Thoroughfare; Four in One; Dusk in Sandi.

Personnel: Michael Kocour: piano; Dwight Kilian: bass; Dom Moio: drums.

Title: Speaking in Tongues | Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: Self Produced

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop for Music

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

Da Good Stuff

Da Good Stuff

Michael Kocour
Spiffy

Wail

Wail

Michael Kocour
Speaking In Tongues

Album Reviews
Take Five With...
Album Reviews
Read more articles
East Of The Sun

East Of The Sun

OA2 Records
2019

buy
Clarity

Clarity

Origin/OA2
2015

buy
Wherever You Go, There You Are

Wherever You Go,...

OA2 Records
2015

buy
Spiffy

Spiffy

Self Produced
2015

buy
Speaking in Tongues

Speaking in Tongues

Self Produced
2007

buy

Related Articles

Read After the Rain: A Night for Coltrane Album Reviews
After the Rain: A Night for Coltrane
By Jakob Baekgaard
April 21, 2019
Read Cadillac Turns Album Reviews
Cadillac Turns
By Troy Dostert
April 21, 2019
Read A Pride Of Lions Album Reviews
A Pride Of Lions
By John Sharpe
April 21, 2019
Read Sunburst Finish Album Reviews
Sunburst Finish
By Glenn Astarita
April 21, 2019
Read This Should Be Fun Album Reviews
This Should Be Fun
By David A. Orthmann
April 20, 2019
Read Transoceanico Album Reviews
Transoceanico
By Patrick Burnette
April 20, 2019
Read Pete Seeger: The Smithsonian Folkways Collection Album Reviews
Pete Seeger: The Smithsonian Folkways Collection
By Jakob Baekgaard
April 20, 2019