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Monk Project
     

The Monk Project

by Jimmy Owens
 
Honored as an NEA Jazz Master in early 2012, Jimmy Owens hasn't had the opportunity to lead very many record dates during a career dating back to the later 1950s. But when the trumpeter has entered the studio, he has made an impact, such as this all-star tribute to Thelonious Monk, which includes fellow Jazz Master Kenny Barron on piano, veteran tuba player Howard

Overview

Honored as an NEA Jazz Master in early 2012, Jimmy Owens hasn't had the opportunity to lead very many record dates during a career dating back to the later 1950s. But when the trumpeter has entered the studio, he has made an impact, such as this all-star tribute to Thelonious Monk, which includes fellow Jazz Master Kenny Barron on piano, veteran tuba player Howard Johnson (who doubles on baritone sax), plus several outstanding younger musicians who have made their mark since arriving in more recent times: trombonist Wycliffe Gordon, tenor saxophonist Marcus Strickland, bassist Kenny Davis and drummer Winard Harper. Owens arranged eight of the ten selections, finding ways to put a fresh stamp on each composition, while the players on the band's front line are all generously featured. The jagged "Brilliant Corners" incorporates Barron's bluesy piano interlude with the rhythm section, followed by Owens' jaunty trumpet and a hilarious conversation between the horns of Johnson, Gordon (utilizing a mute), Strickland, and the leader. Switching to flügelhorn, Owens' take of "Well, You Needn't" is introduced in a loping manner with long, spacious lines and a Latin backbeat, interspersing brief uptempo lines in spots as both the leader and Barron solo with gusto. Owens' warm flügelhorn is on display in a gorgeous, laid-back setting of the lovely ballad "Reflections" in a trio with Barron and Gordon. Monk's "Stuffy Turkey" is not recorded very often, but its humor is typical of the composer, with Strickland's robust tenor carrying the day. The two songs not scored by Owens are also choice charts. Aval Vilner's playful, breezy setting of "Bright Mississippi" is buoyed by the peppy brass ensemble and potent solos, while Jack Ramsey's arrangement of Duke Ellington's "It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)" is based upon Monk's trio record with Oscar Pettiford and Kenny Clarke, with a spirited horn ensemble over Kenny Davis' delicious walking bass, as Johnson (on tuba), Owens, and Gordon are all featured. While there have been numerous tributes to Thelonious Monk over the years, Jimmy Owens' The Monk Project is a cut above.

Product Details

Release Date:
01/10/2012
Label:
Ipo Recordings
UPC:
0822019010227
catalogNumber:
1022

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Jimmy Owens   Primary Artist,Trumpet,Flugelhorn
Howard Johnson   Tuba,Baritone Saxophone
Kenny Davis   Bass
Kenny Barron   Piano
Wycliffe Gordon   Trombone
Winard Harper   Drums
Marcus Strickland   Tenor Saxophone

Technical Credits

Jimmy Owens   Arranger,Producer
Duke Ellington   Composer
Thelonious Monk   Composer
Robin D.G. Kelley   Liner Notes
Jonathan Rosenberg   Engineer
William F. Sorin   Executive Producer
Ivan Kustura   Cover Painting
Jack Ramsey   Arranger
Ayal Vilner   Arranger

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