Norberto Tamburrino: Out of a Blue Reflection


Out of a Blue Reflection



Reflection(s) On Monk (Philology 436-2)

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Norberto Tamburrino (piano), J.D. Allen (tenor saxophone),

Joseph Lepore (bass), Bruce Cox (drums)


Composed by Norberto Tamburrino


Recorded: New York City, Nov. 17, 2008


Rating: 95/100 (learn more)

The Italian pianist Tamburrino considers Thelonious Monk to be one of his primary influences. On each of Tamburrino's three CDs to date he has recorded one Monk tune, and his newest release, Reflection(s) on Monk, is even dedicated to him, although only Tamburrino's solo piano interpretation of "Crepuscule with Nellie" and the quartet performance of his original, "Out of a Blue Reflection," bear any directly obvious relationship to Monk's music.

Just like a tune by Monk, the saxophonist J. D. Allen has appeared on at least one track on all of Tamburrino's CDs, and joins the pianist for his "Out of a Blue Reflection." The theme as played by Allen alludes briefly to "Straight No Chaser" before going its own sweet way, but it is straight out of Monk's bag nonetheless.. Lepore produces a playfully lucid bass solo, followed by the compelling Allen, who creates an improvisation that seems to borrow equally from John Coltrane and Charlie Rouse, while retaining a sure-footed individuality. Tamburrino then resolutely approaches Monk's angularity from his own independent direction, employing glistening arpeggios and distinctive chordal formations in a technically impressive display that builds a skyscraper on top of Monk's implied foundation. By the time Allen has finished replaying the theme, this could easily have made your list of best Monk-inspired compositions. The appeal of this track also beckons Tamburrino and Allen to unite once again in the future for an all-Monk CD. Now that would definitely be something to hear.

Reviewer: Scott Albin

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