Monk's repertoire has been a recurring center of interest in Steve Lacy's career, and he tackled it on many occasions with different partners, often without piano. This particular case differs from others first because these tapes went unreleased for 10 years, and second because they involve a short-lived half-European band with trumpet and vibes, a rather unusual lineup for a Lacy band. Not all musicians are equally interesting here, but every time the highly original Lacy plays the highly original Monk, there's something worth checking. Indeed Lacy's solo, though rather short, is among his most convincing.
Monk's music can make a person uncomfortable. Even with the most basic blues forms, his off-kilter phrasing had that “patting my head while rubbing my tummy” kind of thing going on. Ugly beauty indeed! Danilo Perez takes the role of “stunt pianist” here, playing “Evidence” with the left hand, and “Four In One” with the right. Cynics might scoff at such a trick, yet the results are anything but gimmicky. With the center section swinging like mad on the double-composition hybrid, Perez cleanly illuminates the brilliance of Monk's music.
Previous Page |