Music / Culture

Eric Reed: Baddest Monk

One year has passed since the pianist Reed decided to release another tribute to bebop melodies of the world famous Thelonious Monk. After The Dancing Monk the appropriately called Baddest Monk brings again both positive and negative responses; you see the legends are untouchable! Yet there is no doubt Eric Reed is breathing his icon down his neck and with his piano skills he defeats all the critiques.


Eric Reed: Baddest Monk
Formát: Audio CD
Nahráno: 2012
Vydavatel: Savant

There is no reason to explain more about Thelonious Monk. His contemporary improvisation performance is a fine music for your ears and it introduced many new original elements into jazz as no one did before. To speculate whether Monk is a real founder of bebop is like arguing whether the Beatles are really the biggest pop rock band ever.

Still his three generations younger and respectable colleague Eric Reed did his best to tackle the task. An explosive smashing tempo is inseparable from bravura improvisation full of inharmonic consonance while together they create a groovy composition, where dramatic pauses and stops kind of flirt with old masters of classical music. Eric Reed keeps changing rough and more tender shades and during his musical competition bravely challenges the rhythmical section created by Matt Clohesy (bass) and Henry Cole (drums), and melodically plays with tenor saxophone player Seamus Blake, whose temperamental style is full of curlicues.

The introductory funky bop Rhytm-a-Ning with a nice piano solo changes to a staccato Epistrophy that non-rhythmically wave under the mash of incongruous accords. The same happens with Green Chimneys, where traditional bop reveals the roots of African music. And there is more. Cole’s earthquake suddenly change into uncommon beats, sometimes with a melancholic blues in form of velvety baritone of José Jame, but it is all dominated by Reed’s recognizable piano rush without which the Baddest Monk is quite unimaginable. Indeed Thelonious Monk does not need to turn round in his grave because his continuators pay a lot of respect to the traditions and at the same time create something wildly untamed.






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