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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

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Craig Taborn: Compass Confusion

Read "Compass Confusion" reviewed by John Sharpe

Although a peerless pianist, Craig Taborn has been captivated by electronics since the age of 12, and he scratches that itch big-time on Compass Confusion. The role of post-production treatments in the creation of jazz records has a long history, from Orrin Keepnews piecing together the issued version of Thelonious Monk's 1956 classic “Brilliant Corners" from ...

NEWS: RECORDING

Pianist Lisa Hilton Releases More Than Another Day with Rudy Royston and Luques Curtis on Ruby Slippers Productions

Pianist Lisa Hilton Releases More Than Another Day with Rudy Royston and Luques Curtis on Ruby Slippers Productions

More Than Another Day (Ruby Slippers Productions) is the latest release from composer / pianist / producer, Lisa Hilton. Hilton and her longstanding band mates: Rudy Royston on drums, and Luques Curtis on bass, as well as JD Allen on tenor saxophone, had just finished the first half of their tour for their 2020 album, Chalkboard ...

ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

Jazz Composers Collective: The Herbie Nichols Project

Read "Jazz Composers Collective: The Herbie Nichols Project" reviewed by AAJ Staff

From the 1995-2003 archive: This article first appeared at All About Jazz in November 1999. The Herbie Nichols Project is a working, researching, and performing entity--co-led by pianist Frank Kimbrough and bassist Ben Allison. Operating within that fertile creative aggregate known as the Jazz Composers Collective (of which Mr. Kimbrough and Mr. Allison are ...

Ten Tiptop Albums Which Include Thelonious Monk & Denzil Best’s Totally Rocking “Bemsha Swing”

Read "Ten Tiptop Albums Which Include Thelonious Monk & Denzil Best’s Totally Rocking “Bemsha Swing”" reviewed by Chris May

That was the opinion expressed in Inside Jazz by its author, Leonard Feather, who, on the front cover of the book's first edition in 1949 was described as “America's No.1 Authority On Be-Bop." Well, at least Feather was half right about the attractive tunes. In fact, Monk is known to have written at least eighty of ...

ARTICLE: PROFILE

Frank Kimbrough: From Now to Forever - A Remembrance

Read "Frank Kimbrough: From Now to Forever - A Remembrance" reviewed by Ludovico Granvassu

On December 30, 2020, pianist Frank Kimbrough passed away at the age of 64. True to form, 2020 wreaked havoc until the end. The cause of death was not Covid-19, but the shock at the untimely loss of a revered artist was not any less powerful. Frank Kimbrough had the rare gift of touching ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

Frank Kimbrough - The Friends' Mixtape Part 2

Read "Frank Kimbrough - The Friends' Mixtape Part 2" reviewed by Ludovico Granvassu

To celebrate the late Frank Kimbrough, whose untimely passing on December 30, 2020 added another unnecessary layer of grief on a challenging year, we have reached out to some of his long time friends and collaborators asking them to share a track that in their hearts immediately conjured up memories of Frank. It could be one ...

ARTICLE: BOOK REVIEW

This Is Bop: Jon Hendricks And The Art Of Vocal Jazz

Read "This Is Bop: Jon Hendricks And The Art Of Vocal Jazz" reviewed by Ian Patterson

This Is Bop: Jon Hendricks And The Art Of Vocal Jazz Peter Jones 263 Pages ISBN: 978 1 78179 874 4 Equinox Publishing 2020 Few are the jazz singers accorded the fanfare usually reserved for the music's great instrumentalists. Jon Hendricks was one, taking scat and vocalese to unprecedented ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Charlie Ballantine: Vonnegut

Read "Vonnegut" reviewed by Mark Sullivan

Indianapolis-based guitarist/composer Charlie Ballantine took his inspiration from iconic American novelist Kurt Vonnegut for this project, the most complex set of music in his already lengthy and varied recording career. He was joined by fellow Indianapolis musicians: saxophonist Rob Dixon, saxophonist/clarinetist Amanda Gardier, pianist Mina Keohane, bassist Jesse Wittman and drummer Cassius Goens. Dixon, Gardier and ...

ARTICLE: YEAR IN REVIEW

2020: The Year in Jazz

Read "2020: The Year in Jazz" reviewed by Ken Franckling

The COVID-19 pandemic put the jazz world in a tailspin, just like the world at large, in 2020. And there is plenty of uncertainty going into the new year about what “new normal: might emerge from the darkness. International Jazz Day, like so many other things, became an online virtual event this time around. Pianist Keith ...


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