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ghost of miles

Ethan Iverson on Thelonious Monk in the New Yorker

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Thanks for posting, David. There may be some sniping/complaining about it, but it worked for me.

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I've started to read. Mosaic is a "boutique label"?
I do like "

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1 hour ago, Larry Kart said:

I've started to read. Mosaic is a "boutique label"?

Perfect.

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Let the sniping begin.

Edited by paul secor

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Nice essay.

I'd never read that Monk quote (via Steve Lacy): “You’ve got to dig it to dig, you dig?”

Fantastic. Love it.

 

Happy 100th, TSM!  

Edited by HutchFan

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I thought he hinted at a couple of interesting ideas (on timbre and something else), but other than that (and a couple of good/obscure quotations) a machine could've written it.  Not Ethan's best work and not adequate to the subject at hand.

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It doesn´t sound like Monk if you hold the fingers in the more classical position how he does it. The secret of Monk´s sound is you must imagine a bit to be him to slip in his physical manners of playing the piano.

If he´d hold the fingers in the flat positions and would make a bit more body movement he would hit the Monk-sound better.

And to give an example of how Monk would play a tune you don´t need sheet.

Monk´s way of harmonizing an otherwise simple piece are quite logic, it´s his "language" and if you get inside that language you can get nearer to what he might have done.

My wife said once, after looking at some video: "He plays the piano as if he had invented that instrument just for himself". She´s not a musician but I think that´s the point.

 

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Thank you for posting that. A lot there to digest. At a first quick read, there are things I may not agree with (and things that I do agree with), but that's not the point. It got me thinking more about Monk, and that is the point.

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Well put and eloquent article, if not of particularly great depth (but it’s written for New Yorker, not Downbeat). I enjoy reading Iverson’s  “Do The Math” blog. As a scholar and disseminator of jazz tradition knowledge he is everything Wynton Marsalis is not.

Ethan Iverson was a curator of Monk@100 celebration organized by Duke Performances in Durham, NC, that concluded yesterday. There were essentially two parts- J.D. Allen Trio with various guests the first week and Ethan Iverson Trio w/ Dave Williams on bass & Victor Lewis on drums with a guest saxophonist  the second. In between there was two afternoons of free performances where four pianists covered the whole Monk's catalog, both solo and in duets.

I attended the last show yesterday, were the sax player was Ravi Coltrane. It was a fairly orthodox interpretation of Monk’s Quartet from the 60’s, and enjoyable for what it was. Ethan Iverson gave a little introduction before each number and played Crepuscule with Nellie solo for the encore. The crowd was very enthusiastic.

I also saw JD Allen Trio with Dave Douglas the week before and was rather disappointed, as they choose to use Monk’s music as blowing vehicles of sorts, raising temperature considerably but overcooking that particular goose in the process. Dave Douglas especially seemed to be out of Monk’s idiom (granted, he mentions in one of his interviews that he had little use for Monk’s music until fairly recently).

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I bet they missed one tune when they did the whole Monk catalog.

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