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Favorite Monk tributes (single artist)


Milestones
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1 hour ago, BillF said:

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The Holman album is interesting but rather un-Monk-like. Oil and water, or maybe oatmeal and chili.

Best Monk large ensemble tributes I ever heard were the two Chicago Jazz Festival re-creations of the Hall Overton Town Hall concert, the first with Mal Waldron, the second with Randy Weston, and with as many of the original players as were still among the living. IIRC, Chuck Nessa was largely responsible for both of those events, certainly for the first one. I have a cassette tape of the earlier of the concerts. IMO that band played Overton's charts better than the Town Hall band did.

A good small group tribute is the first Sphere album (not a single artist, I know, but one group). Rouse sounds better there than he usually did with Monk, and the tempos are just right.

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2 hours ago, l p said:

am i right in thinking that monk has by far the most tribute albums, even more than the biggies like ellington and coltrane. it would be interesting to know why that is.

Great compositions.  

(Though I'm pretty certain that Ellington has more tribute albums.)

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My "favorite" is probably the Steve Duke thing, because it fully engages the music outside of the realm of its original culture and finds no end of valid/serious inspiration and meaning there. End result - not Monk as "jazz" or Monk as "inspiration for non-jazz", just Monk as a set of ideas and pieces and attitudes and music that are all universal in their truth. Labels and cultural identifiers shed, all that is left is the nuts and bolts of the music, and how do we - anybody we - make that work?

Not everybody can, not everybody should, but it is inevitable that it happen, not just with Monk music but with all music, I think. I've had some people say, wow, that doesn't sound like Monk, but it sure sounds like Monk anyway.

Al(l)ways Know.

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All three have already been mentioned, but my favorites are:
- Steve Lacy - Reflections
- Griff & Lockjaw - Lookin' at Monk
- Sphere - Four in One

Another excellent one: Arthur Blythe - Light Blue

EDIT:
Just remembered another one -- Fred Hersch's Monk tribute is darn good too.

Edited by HutchFan
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I would think Ellington has been covered more than Monk, if only because there are a lot more compositions to choose from.  

Even though Monk's career spanned barely more than two decades, it's surprising he wrote only about 70 pieces.

I'd like to find that Blythe album.  I remember buying it on used vinyl about a decade after it came out.  It seems hard to come by.  

 

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1 hour ago, Milestones said:

I would think Ellington has been covered more than Monk, if only because there are a lot more compositions to choose from.

I think you're right. In fact, excellent Ellington tribute recordings would make another good thread. Has it already been done?

 

1 hour ago, Milestones said:

I'd like to find that Blythe album.  I remember buying it on used vinyl about a decade after it came out.  It seems hard to come by.  

Here's a NM LP on discogs for $7.20 + shipping. And I bet you could get it for less than that -- since the seller has included a "Make Offer" option. (BTW: No connection to the seller or to discogs. Just one addict looking to help another. ;) )

Edited by HutchFan
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Without thinking about it very hard or looking on my shelves, I can think of six all-Monk albums by Mr. Lacy. I suppose Reflections, already mentioned, is the best known, but I kind of like Lacy's solo Monk albums - Eronel on Horo and Only Monk & More Monk on Soul Note. Of these, I prefer the Soul Notes - they are the work of a mature artist who had explored Monk's music deeply for many years. An unaccompanied soprano saxophone playing Monk makes for somewhat austere listening, but this is profound music, without a wasted note.

And I suppose that many people here will already know that Lacy made it his business to learn Monk's complete output as a composer - including tunes that only came to light after Monk's death, like "A Merrier Christmas."

 

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Steve Duke for a penny:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000008OPY/ref=cm_sw_r_apa_5TfIxbG1W2VKX

Not that Steve Duke is Steve Lacy, or even Danny Quebec West, but Steve Duke presents much the same conclusions as Steve Lacy while asking only some of the same questions from not even the same floor.

When "jazz" gets removed, can Monk still be Monk? Will Monk be Newtonian or quantum? How ultimate is Monk, as ultimate as cultural landmark or as ultimate as profound universal omni-planar fact? What if there is no "past" past Monk, what if you do not go past Monk because you cannot? What if Monk is ultimately not music but EVERYTHING, music just being the 3D delivery system?

Jazz is freedom. Think about that. You think about that.

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On 14.7.2016 at 4:32 PM, uli said:

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Superb effort - especially Carter Jefferson and bass master Andy Gonzalez shine brightly .... the Monk Songbook suits perfectly to be "latinized" .... this recording definitely should be shouted from the rooftops ....

Edited by soulpope
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