Andrew Hill: Monkash
Andrew Hill (piano)
Mosaic Select (Mosaic MS-016)
Andrew Hill (piano),
Carlos Garnett (tenor sax); Richard Davis (bass); Freddie Waits (drums); Sanford Allen (violin); Selwart Clarke, Al Brown (viola); Kermit Moore (cello).
Recorded: Englewood Cliffs, NJ; June 13, 1969
Rating: 87/100 (learn more)
This recording, which adds a string quartet to the conventional tenor-and-trio jazz combo, did not surface in stores until 2005, when producer Michael Cuscuna completed his campaign to release all of the unissued Andrew Hill sessions in the Blue Note Records archives. Like many of Hill's late-'60s compositions, “Monkash” -- named for a doctor friend -- blends groove with gravity. Garnett and Davis state the funky yet formal melody, while Waits tensely flits at the high-hat, threatening to drop a backbeat but never kicking it in. The strings surge and trill, dropping out only for Hill's solo, the centerpiece. A thoughtful, dramatic arrangement.
Reviewer: Joe Petrucelli