Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

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.

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop

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

Related Articles

Read Stephan Thelen and Sonar: Minimal Grooves at Maximum Volume Multiple Reviews
Stephan Thelen and Sonar: Minimal Grooves at Maximum Volume
By Geno Thackara
January 12, 2019
Read Meeting of the Minds and Sounds: The Clarinet and The Oud Multiple Reviews
Meeting of the Minds and Sounds: The Clarinet and The Oud
By Doug Collette
January 12, 2019
Read Two major releases from Ferran Fages Multiple Reviews
Two major releases from Ferran Fages
By John Eyles
January 11, 2019
Read Music Matters: SRX Vinyl Multiple Reviews
Music Matters: SRX Vinyl
By Greg Simmons
January 10, 2019
Read Tim Motzer: Late-Night Soundscapes Multiple Reviews
Tim Motzer: Late-Night Soundscapes
By Geno Thackara
December 26, 2018
Read Drummers As Leaders Multiple Reviews
Drummers As Leaders
By Jerome Wilson
December 23, 2018