November 15, 2010 |
Pianist Danilo Perez says he hated Thelonious Monk's music when he first heard it in 1986. "This guy was playing a lot of wrong notes," Perez recalled thinking during a brief Q&A at his concert Saturday night at the Kimmel Center's Perelman Theater. Perez also cited a conversation with the late trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie who said, "We'd take Monk to a jam session, and no one wanted to sit in. " Like much of humanity, Perez got over that, and Saturday night's double set with bassist John Patitucci and drummer Terri Lyne Carrington paid righteous tribute.
March 8, 2013
1TSF JAZZ Woody Allen could pull a great soundtrack from this vintage-minded Parisian jazz station. It celebrates the likes of Django Reinhardt, Louis Armstrong, Thelonious Monk and Fats Waller, plus newbies like Philly's own Melody Gardot. 2KCRW ECLECTIC 24 Hipsters rejoice! A wonderfully curated mashup of new pop-musical forms and talent. Could make you a convert even if you claim to "hate" electronic, hip-hop, world music and alt-country. 3 BBC RADIO 3/BBC 6 The former focuses on classical music by day, plus jazz, world music and fine arts by night.
May 23, 1999 |
It took Thelonious Monk, the iconoclastic pianist and protean jazz composer who died in 1982, to expose the flaws in the mighty Wynton Marsalis tribute machine. With its angular leaps and scurrying chases, Monk's music forces improvisers to abandon the cherished licks that constitute much post-bop improvisation. Its unorthodox, stair-stepping melodies demand to be picked apart, or at least paraphrased. Its harmonic schemes have their own internal logic, a code that, once cracked, unleashes a stream of possibilities - inverted themes and unlikely, misfit declarations.
January 16, 2012 |
Given his monumental place in the jazz pantheon, it simply isn't possible to pick up a tenor saxophone without stepping into the shadow of John Coltrane. How much greater must the pressure be, then, when you share not only his instrument but also his last name? Ravi Coltrane has admirably avoided such outsize expectations by simply following his own muse. He doesn't ignore his heritage. His set list often includes tunes by father John or mother Alice (herself a pioneering pianist)
March 2, 2012 |
Before playing a single note, before even sitting down at the keyboards at World Cafe Live on Thursday night, Robert Glasper's first order of business was to ask for the stage lights to be dimmed. "We like it kind of sexy," he insisted. Vibe and atmosphere are all-important to the Robert Glasper Experiment. The quartet, which serves as the electric complement to Glasper's slightly more traditional acoustic trio, exists as a permanent jam session, tackling every tune with a sprawling, exploratory looseness.
July 29, 1994 |
The name is Thelonious Monk Jr., but he is no chip off the old block. To distinguish himself from his father and establish an identity that is truly his own, Monk goes by the name T.S. Monk. After disassociating himself from jazz through the '70s and '80s - generally snubbing his rich heritage - Monk, at 43, has now joined the ranks of jazz's more interesting "newcomers" and will be headlining the Saturday segment of this weekend's free Jazz on the Waterfront festival at Penn's Landing.
March 15, 2013 |
NORMAN GADSON bought John Coltrane's old house in Strawberry Mansion in 2004 from Mary "Cousin Mary" Alexander, a relative of the jazz saxophonist. Not long after, he'd call up musicians in the city and ask them to come over to jam in 'Trane's house. Lenora Early, Gadson's widow, said her husband, a fervent jazz fan, intended to fix up the house and open it as a jazz venue. "He just loved jazz," Early said of Gadson. But he died in 2007, before he could restore the house, on 33rd Street near Oxford.
August 7, 2011
The Life and Legend of the Jazz Baroness David Kastin W.W. Norton. 273 pp. $26.95 Reviewed by Steven Rea She was a Rothschild, raised in sheltered splendor on an English estate, sent to a posh Paris finishing school. She was a decorated war hero, driving ambulances across the North African deserts for the Free French Forces. She was the woman in whose Fifth Avenue apartment Charlie Parker, the great jazz saxophonist, died. And she was the dramatic, black-haired diva of the New York nighclub scene who was busted in New Castle, Del., on drug charges while the passenger in her silver Bentley, the pioneer modern jazz pianist Thelonious Monk, was being beaten by the cops and hauled off to jail.
May 17, 2013 |
There's a jazz man's adage, attributed variously to Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington and Miles Davis, that goes something like this: "There are two kinds of music, the good and the bad. I play the good kind. " Don Was, the bass player, producer, bandleader, songwriter, and now president of the storied jazz label Blue Note Records, divides the world differently. "There are two kinds of music," Was says. "Generous music and selfish music. " Was was talking from his home in Los Angeles as he got ready to head to Philadelphia to for the Non-Commvention, the national gathering of mostly public radio non-commercial music stations, hosted annually by WXPN (88.5 FM)