Monk’estra Vol 2 review: Modern takes on Thelonious Monk

Thu, Aug 31, 2017, 09:15



John Beasley

Mack Avenue


Thirty-five years after his death – and a good 70 since the high-water mark of the bebop he helped to invent – the music of Thelonious Monk continues to resonate with contemporary musicians.

Each new generation seems to find its own reflection in Monk’s eccentric, defiantly original melodies, and tunes like Evidence and I Mean You sound as fresh and strange as they always did.

Here’ a second salvo from top LA composer and arranger John Beasley and his 15-piece MONK’estra - with guest appearances from violinist Regina Carter, saxophonist Kamasai Washington, and a scorching opening rap from trumpeter Dontae Winslow. Like last year’s much-admired Vol 1, it strikes a perfect balance between the character of the originals and the spirit of our times.