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Thelonious Monk

With the arrival Thelonious Sphere Monk, modern music— let alone modern culture—simply hasn’t been the same. Recognized as one of the most inventive pianists of any musical genre, Monk achieved a startlingly original sound that even his most devoted followers have been unable to successfully imitate. His musical vision was both ahead of its time and deeply rooted in tradition, spanning the entire history of the music from the “stride” masters of James P. Johnson and Willie “the Lion” Smith to the tonal freedom and kinetics of the “avant garde.” And he shares with Edward “Duke” Ellington the distinction of being one of the century’s greatest American composers

Palo Alto

Label: Impulse! Records
Released: 2020
Track listing: Ruby, My Dear; Well, You Needn’t; Don’t Blame Me: Blue Monk: Epistrophy: I Love You Sweetheart of All My Dreams.

ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

Johanna Burnheart: Techno Jazz Shines A Light: New Directions In Music

Read "Johanna Burnheart: Techno Jazz Shines A Light: New Directions In Music" reviewed by Chris May

A relatively new name on London's alternative jazz scene, the German-born violinist, vocalist and composer Johanna Burnheart has made a rapid ascent since leaving the city's Guildhall School of Music & Drama in 2018. She has played on three of the scene's benchmark albums--spiritual-jazz band Maisha's There Is A Place (Brownswood, 2018), trombonist Rosie Turton's 5ive ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Tigran Hamasyan: The Call Within

Read "The Call Within" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki

Tigran Hamasyan had already demonstrated that he's an excellent pianist: He won the Montreux Jazz Festival's piano competition in 2003. He was only seventeen when he released his first recording (World Passion, Nocturn) in 2005 and then he claimed top prize the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Piano Competition the year after that. Hamasyan's Nonesuch Records debut ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

Born on the Cusp of Drama - Celebrating Esperanza Spalding, Bobby Troup and Laura Nyro

Read "Born on the Cusp of Drama - Celebrating Esperanza Spalding, Bobby Troup and Laura Nyro" reviewed by Mary Foster Conklin

In astrology, October 18 zodiac people are on the Libra-Scorpio cusp, referred to as the Cusp of Drama. Esperanza Spalding, Bobby Troup and Laura Nyro share that birthday, which would certainly make for a dramatic dinner party. Besides shoutouts to this dynamic trio, vocalist Lee Wiley and pianist Thelonious Monk are celebrated as well. The broadcast ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

Last Dance (for Now)

Read "Last Dance (for Now)" reviewed by Marc Cohn

So, this is our “last dance" at least for now, and we hope to have new Gifts & Messages shows in 2021. As many of you know, even this is only a two-hour show, it's almost a full-time job, with listening to new/old music, selecting tunes, doing the program-specific research and lots of reading, in addition ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Josh Nelson: D+N+A: David/Nelson/Agreement

Read "D+N+A: David/Nelson/Agreement" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

Vocalist Mon David and pianist Josh Nelson's D+N+A: David/Nelson/Agreement has two recorded antecedents in John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman (Impulse!, 1963) and Emilia Vancini's And If You Fall, You Fall (Espira, 2020). This new release favors the former in that David is a baritone voice as was Hartman and his repertoire on D+N+A is one of ...

ARTICLE: TAKE FIVE WITH...

Take Five with Denin Koch

Read "Take Five with Denin Koch" reviewed by AAJ Staff

Meet Denin Koch Hailed as possessing “pristine playing, meticulous composing" and “a very personal voice deserving of attention," guitarist and composer Denin Koch has synthesized his wide and varied influences into a unique approach to jazz improvisation. He has performed with Arturo Sandoval, Pat Metheny, Branford Marsalis, Ellis Marsalis, Wycliffe Gordon, Dee Daniels, Ryan Keberle, and ...

ARTICLE: FROM THE INSIDE OUT

Love Letters & Postcards from the Jazz Heart

Read "Love Letters & Postcards from the Jazz Heart" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki

Brian Andres Trio Latino Mayan Suite Bacalao Records 2020 Drummer and percussionist Brian Andres may have been born in Cincinnati but his musical homeland is Latin America. A drummer by age ten, Anders studied at the Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music and eventually followed his Latin ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

Rah! Rah!: Claire Daly's Tribute to Rahsaan Roland Kirk and Other New Releases

Read "Rah! Rah!: Claire Daly's Tribute to Rahsaan Roland Kirk and Other New Releases" reviewed by Mary Foster Conklin

A bounty of new releases this week from saxophonist Claire Daly, harmonicist Hermine Deurloo, Thelonious Monk (newly discovered live performance), the Mike Melito Dino Losito Quartet, plus vocalists Simone Kopmajer, Sandra Marlowe and Sarah Moule, along with birthday shoutouts to Norma Winstone, Rebecca Kilgore, Lara Driscoll, Isabel Crespo, Leonard Cohen, John Coltrane and more. Thanks for ...


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