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

Greg Lewis / Organ Monk: Uwo in the Black

Larry Taylor By

Sign in to view read count
Uwo in the Black is organist Greg Lewis' second recording based on Thelonious Monk's music—in fact, it is the second in a projected trilogy. Lewis' debut in 2010, Organ Monk, gained high respect from critics. Whereas, the first effort was a trio affair, Lewis expands the group here by adding Reginald R. Woods on tenor saxophone. Woods' hard-edged tone and highly-charged style bring the flavor of Monk's regular tenor man Charlie Rouse to the studio. The sax also adds considerably to the powerful mix supplied by Lewis' Hammond C3 organ, Ron Jackson's gutsy guitar, and, most importantly, Nasheet Waitss' primal force on drums. The playlist includes ten Monk tunes, supplemented by four of Lewis' compositions.

Well schooled on piano, Lewis studied with the likes of Charles Mingus' pianist Jaki Byard and Miles Davis' early sideman Gil Coggins, who reportedly nicknamed him "Thelonious Hunk" for his deep knowledge of the legendary composer. Raised listening to gospel and Afro American music, Lewis brings his background to shape Monk into his own style. He rounds off Monk's jagged lines with the fuller-sounding organ, breathing new life into these unique compositions.

"Little Rootie Tootie" leads off, the infectious ditty a real hooker, starting slowly, it builds relentlessly until on organ, "all stops are out." Along the way, comes a fleet-fingered guitar solo and a masterly tenor passage. The rest of the selections have a tough time living up to this—but do. Lewis' composition, "In the Black—My Nephew," starts with a sax dirge which gives way to a wall of sound, organ on top, supported by a heavy drum ballast. "Bright Mississippi," is Monk's acid-etched look at the South. Written in 1962, the date of University of Mississippi racial demonstrations, the organ treatment projects a false jauntiness, seemingly taunting the Establishment. Monk's seldom heard, "Skippy" evokes the ups and downs on a roller coaster, as the drums heavily stir the carnival atmosphere, and soon admit the guitar for a solo turn. On "Thelonious," drums and organ duet, hand-in-hand for a swinging jog, cymbals and snares leading the repetitive, mesmerizing pace.

Based on this second edition of the trilogy, the third and final part is highly anticipated.

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Uwo in the Black

Uwo in the Black

Self Produced
2012

buy

Related Articles

Read Fullmoon CD/LP/Track Review
Fullmoon
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 24, 2018
Read Never Bet The Devil Your Head CD/LP/Track Review
Never Bet The Devil Your Head
by Troy Dostert
Published: April 24, 2018
Read Arise! CD/LP/Track Review
Arise!
by Chris May
Published: April 24, 2018
Read Plus One CD/LP/Track Review
Plus One
by Jerome Wilson
Published: April 24, 2018
Read Oscar Peterson Plays CD/LP/Track Review
Oscar Peterson Plays
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: April 23, 2018
Read State Of The Baritone Volume 2 CD/LP/Track Review
State Of The Baritone Volume 2
by Mark Corroto
Published: April 23, 2018
Read "Estonian Suite: Live In Tallinn" CD/LP/Track Review Estonian Suite: Live In Tallinn
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: November 18, 2017
Read "Cubafonía" CD/LP/Track Review Cubafonía
by Matt Hooke
Published: December 26, 2017
Read "Originals For the Originals" CD/LP/Track Review Originals For the Originals
by Paul Rauch
Published: November 20, 2017
Read "Oh, Clara!" CD/LP/Track Review Oh, Clara!
by Jim Olin
Published: September 3, 2017
Read "I Am" CD/LP/Track Review I Am
by Geno Thackara
Published: November 13, 2017
Read "Borrowed Time" CD/LP/Track Review Borrowed Time
by Troy Dostert
Published: August 15, 2017