All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

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...

3

Kadi Vija & Lucas Dann: Ugly Beauty

Geno Thackara By

Sign in to view read count
Countless musicians have tackled the songs of Thelonious Monk, but it's arguably a rare performer who comes out just as angular and quirky as the man himself. When two such voices join together, both sharing an excellent feel for his tricky offbeat sensibility, it's a distinctly unusual pleasure.

Through the brief half-hour of Ugly Beauty, Kadi Vija and Lucas Dann manage to pay loving respect exploring the skewed nooks of Monk's pieces while improvising their way through to their own perspective. Dann understands that this music's sense of timing is as important as the chords being played. His piano accompaniment ably grounds itself in the stride and bebop of their source material, always willing to bounce along and keep the proper skewed sense of harmonics. For her part, Vija generally uses her voice like the soloist's right hand. She scats and chirps in a sprightly vocalese up and down the scales while keeping a keen awareness of how much each piece offers room for playfulness.

Familiar songs or not, such a performance can only be unpredictable. "Boo Boo's Birthday" sounds like a sequence of drunken staggers at first, but the simpatico pair manage it all in uncanny unison. With the jumpy "In Walked Bud," they're more in the mood for a dialogue back and forth. It's not hard to picture the two looking at each other as they stagger beats, faking starts and almost daring each other to slip out of step. However they're arranged, these treatments are Monkian in the best sense: fun and surprising, seemingly messy on the surface, but rich in detail and unerringly precise underneath.

Track Listing: Gallop's Gallop; Bemsha Swing; Monk's Mood; Boo Boo's Birthday; Ask Me Now; Introspection; In Walked Bud; Work; Bemsha Swing (alternate take); Ugly Beauty

Personnel: Kadi Vija: voice; Lucas Dann: piano

Title: Ugly Beauty | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: Texicalli

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Ugly Beauty

Ugly Beauty

Texicalli
2017

buy
Stories

Stories

Eclipse Music, Inner Circle Music
2014

buy

Related Articles

Read Northern Migrations CD/LP/Track Review
Northern Migrations
by Ian Patterson
Published: April 22, 2018
Read Egregore CD/LP/Track Review
Egregore
by John Eyles
Published: April 22, 2018
Read Lifelike CD/LP/Track Review
Lifelike
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: April 22, 2018
Read Whatever Possessed Me CD/LP/Track Review
Whatever Possessed Me
by Don Phipps
Published: April 22, 2018
Read Live At The Fillmore East 1968 CD/LP/Track Review
Live At The Fillmore East 1968
by Doug Collette
Published: April 22, 2018
Read Live CD/LP/Track Review
Live
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: April 21, 2018
Read "Anti-Hero" CD/LP/Track Review Anti-Hero
by Mike Jacobs
Published: September 1, 2017
Read "Heart Love" CD/LP/Track Review Heart Love
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 12, 2018
Read "Blue Maqams" CD/LP/Track Review Blue Maqams
by John Kelman
Published: October 13, 2017
Read "Strykin’ Ahead" CD/LP/Track Review Strykin’ Ahead
by John Kelman
Published: September 2, 2017
Read "Inminente" CD/LP/Track Review Inminente
by Matt Hooke
Published: March 26, 2018
Read "A Pouting Grimace" CD/LP/Track Review A Pouting Grimace
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 15, 2017