195

Thelonious Monk Tributes: Bobby Broom & Dominic Duval/Jimmy Halperin

By

Sign in to view read count








Bobby Broom
Plays for Monk
Origin Records
2009


Jimmy Halperin/Dominic Duval
Monk Dreams
No Business
2009


There's something almost contradictory about Monk compositions: they're insistently individualistic, built on odd chord changes with often minimalist melodies. But as idiosyncratic as they are, they often succeed in bringing out what's best in the musicians playing them, as if those tunes are open to individuality as well as being the product of it. Through the years musicians of wildly divergent styles have approached Monk's music: the piquant Steve Lacy, exuberant Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis, amiably bombastic Misha Mengelberg and magisterial Coleman Hawkins. These two trips into the Monk canon may not produce results as distinctive as any of those but they're solid efforts possessed of substantial personality.

Guitarist Bobby Broom is likely best known for his supporting role in the band of Sonny Rollins, a direct link to Monk's most creative years. There's a lot of blues in Broom's approach—he's led an organ trio—and it deliberately picks up on the iconography of Monk's Riverside years. The cover art features a red wagon, recalling the cover art of Monk's Music, but more than that there's the style. Broom's bluesy, linear approach to Monk inevitably suggests another generation of guitarists like Wes Montgomery and Grant Green. There's also a real emphasis on swing. Broom's spare trio with bassist Dennis Carroll and drummer Kobie Watkins goes to the rhythmic core of Monk's music, producing effervescent momentum on tunes like "Evidence," "In Walked Bud," "Rhythm-a-ning" and "Bemsha Swing" and warm balladry on "Ruby, My Dear" and "Smoke Gets in your Eyes". That easy swing may suggest the relaxed confidence of Monk's Columbia years as well, but Broom has done a fine job of adapting Monk's music to his own musical personality and vice versa.

The duo of saxophonist Jimmy Halperin and bassist Dominic Duval let you know right away what side of Monk they're most interested in, opening and closing with "Brilliant Corners," perhaps the most 'angular' and abrasive of Monk's compositions. Halperin and Duval take it in stride—well, make that tense stride. Halperin really leans into this music, creating swirling patterns on "Off Minor," "Blue Monk" and "Monk's Dream" that gives them a very different feel from the usual accounts. Duval provides solid support, articulating the themes with characteristic ease. The duo enjoys consistent communication, creating a fine three-way dialogue with Monk's compositions. Halperin's exploratory edge is evident throughout. The duo released a similar CD of Monk tunes a couple of years ago, called Monkinus, on CIMP. Monk Dreams isn't a sequel. It was actually recorded earlier and includes many of the same tunes. It's a good date, however, interesting in itself as well as a complement to the later recording.


Tracks and Personnel

Plays for Monk

Tracks: Ask Me Now; Evidence; Ruby, My Dear; In Walked Bud; Lulu's Back In Town; Reflections; Work; Rhythm-A-Ning; Bemsha Swing; Smoke Gets In Your Eyes.

Personnel: Bobby Broom: guitar; Dennis Carroll: bass; Kobie Watkins: drums.

Monk Dreams

Tracks: Brilliant Corners: Off Minor; Epistrophy; Monk's Dream: Trinkle, Tinkle; Evidence; Bye-Ya; Criss Cross; Blue Monk; Ruby, My Dear; Brilliant Corners (alternate track).

Personnel: Jimmy Halperin: tenor saxophone; Dominic Duval: bass.


Shop

More Articles

Read New, Notable and Nearly Missed Multiple Reviews New, Notable and Nearly Missed
by Phil Barnes
Published: January 25, 2017
Read Blues Deluxe: Colin James, Matthew Curry and Johnny Nicholas Multiple Reviews Blues Deluxe: Colin James, Matthew Curry and Johnny Nicholas
by Doug Collette
Published: January 14, 2017
Read Weekertoft Hits Its Stride… Multiple Reviews Weekertoft Hits Its Stride…
by John Eyles
Published: January 7, 2017
Read Ivo Perelman: The Art of the Improv Trio Multiple Reviews Ivo Perelman: The Art of the Improv Trio
by Jim Trageser
Published: January 4, 2017
Read 2016: An Ivo Perelman Marathon Multiple Reviews 2016: An Ivo Perelman Marathon
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 3, 2017
Read Pi Recordings 2016 Releases Multiple Reviews Pi Recordings 2016 Releases
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: December 24, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

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!