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...

1

Stephen Gauci: Thunk!

Mark Corroto By

Sign in to view read count
If the subject of an album of covers songs is pianist Thelonious Monk, then the approach invariably is reverence or its opposite, insolence. Bands either worship at Monk's alter or attempt to out-Monk Monk by counterfeiting eccentricity or outlandishness. To quote the great man, "You've been making the wrong mistakes."

One band not making those wrong mistakes is saxophonist Stephen Gauci's quartet. Its eight Monk covers begin with a bold confidence and ply a determined vigor to this famed canon.

Thunk! opens with a hint of funk, as bassist Michael Bisio and drummer Jeremy Carlstedt stroll New Orleans for a pulse. By the time guitarist Kenny Wessel and Gauci enter, the die has been cast. These cats muscle "Bemsha Swing" more as jazz-funk than bebop. While aggressive, the music never comes off as irreverent.

Gauci has shared a regular collaboration with Bisio in the bassist's quartet; Bisio also appears on pianist Kris Davis' stellar Three (Clean Feed, 2010), and on Gauci's twin-bassist Basso Continuo group, on Nididyhasana (Clean Feed, 2008).

Tracks like "Monks Mood," "Well You Needn't" and "Off Minor" are played as if pushed by a pugnaciousness that is more New York brusqueness. Credit Bisio's hand, and the producer's choice to mix the drums upfront. Gauci's choice of notes, as his selection of players dictates this mood. The discovery here is Wessel. He favors a supportive role when Gauci solos, but stitches together a running commentary throughout tracks like "Nutty" and dresses up "Ask me Now," in duo with Gauci, that simply elevates the track into a dream state. Gauci's Thunk! book is a veracious take on the brilliance of Thelonious Monk.

Track Listing: Bemsha Swing; Ask Me Now; Let's Cool One; Monks Mood; Nutty; Ruby My Dear; Off Minor; Well You Needn't.

Personnel: Stephen Gauci: tenor saxophone; Kenny Wessel: guitar; Michael Bisio: bass; Jeremy Carlstedt: drums.

Title: THUNK! | Year Released: 2012 | Record Label: NotTwo Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Album Reviews
Multiple Reviews
Album Reviews
Multiple Reviews
Album Reviews
Read more articles
 

THUNK!

Not Two Records
2013

buy
THUNK!

THUNK!

NotTwo Records
2012

buy
 

Three

Clean Feed Records
2010

buy
Substratum

Substratum

CIMP Records
2008

buy
 

Nididhyasana

Clean Feed Records
2008

buy

Shop

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

Related Articles

Read Cuando Sea Necesario Album Reviews
Cuando Sea Necesario
By Dan McClenaghan
March 22, 2019
Read West 60th Album Reviews
West 60th
By Peter Hoetjes
March 22, 2019
Read In Between the Tumbling a Stillness Album Reviews
In Between the Tumbling a Stillness
By Mark Corroto
March 22, 2019
Read Arirang Fantasy Album Reviews
Arirang Fantasy
By John Sharpe
March 22, 2019
Read The Secret Between the Shadow and the Soul Album Reviews
The Secret Between the Shadow and the Soul
By Mike Jurkovic
March 22, 2019
Read Octopus Album Reviews
Octopus
By Jack Bowers
March 21, 2019
Read Pinch Point Album Reviews
Pinch Point
By Mark Corroto
March 21, 2019