Without a doubt, there is nothing quite like the music of Thelonious Monk. The unconventional pianist created music that still flourishes today, marked by his percussive style, odd rhythmic patterns, and a unique sense of melody that has influenced countless musicians and enthusiasts. It continues to thrive on the new release Think of One by the Monk's Music Trio.
The trio was formed by San Francisco veteran drummer Chuck Bernstein and produced the well-received recording Harmony of Odd Numbers (CMB, 2004), featuring pianist Si Perkoff and bassist Frank Passantino. The new recording finds the trio with a new bassist, Sam Bevan, as they continue to cover both popular and obscure Monk pieces such as "Two Timer" and "Stuffy Turkey." Although there are no new reinterpretations of these classics, the music is performed with a fervent passion and results in a strong recording that clearly articulates the essence of Monk.
These veterans bring their hearts and chops to the recording with memorable moments such as the lyrical drum solo on "Rhythm-a-ning" and a vocalized scatting bass solo on the centerpiece "Think of One." Bernstein and Perkoff could teach (and have taught) younger musicians a thing or two, as they play with wisdom and a deep knowledge of the music. Perkoff's phrasing is a study in Monk's style in terms of spacing and execution, as heard on the blues-drenched "Misterioso." Bernstein's sure hands keep perfect timing with drumming that is a pleasure to listen to as the pulse of the music is felt by the heartbeat of Bevan's bass strings. This trio simply does Monk justice.
Track Listing: 1. San Francisco Holiday;
2. Coming on the Hudson;
3. Ask Me Now;
4. Four in One;
5. Brilliant Corners;
6. Think of One;
8. Trinkle Tinkle;
10. Two Timer;
11. Stuffy Turkey;
12. Boo Boo's Birthday;
Personnel: Si Perkoff - piano; Sam Bevan - bass; Chuck Bernstein - drums.
I love jazz because it swings.
I was first exposed to jazz in Houston.
I met Joe LoCascio and Bob Henschen.
The best show I ever attended was Pat Martino.
The first jazz record I bought was Time Out by the Dave Brubeck Quartet.
My advice to new listeners is to relax on 2 and 4 beats.