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Monk's Music Trio Appearing at the San Francisco Jazz Festival Wednesday, October 24, 8PM

SOURCE: Published:
Monk's Music Trio
Chuck Bernstein-drums, Si Perkoff-piano, Sam Bevan-bass
Appearing At The
San Francisco Jazz Festival
Wednesday, October 24, 8PM
at the Great American Music Hall
Opening for the T.S. Monk Sextet

New CD

Monk's Music Trio Monk On Monday (CMB Records 102843 Street Date: September 1, 2007)

What The Press Is Saying About Monk On Monday:

MONK'S MUSIC TRIO/Monk on Mondays: One of the longest running of the Monk repertory crews, this trio has been holding forth since 1999 and has certainly honed their act since then. Giving Monk the righteous, royal treatment you can expect from a crack tribute crew, this trio is on point throughout and will not disappoint even the most hard core Monk fan. Pulling from all points of his career, this omnibus look at the sounds of Monk scores well with us, and we are Monk fans. --MIDWEST RECORD

For eight years, MONK'S MUSIC TRIO has been playing the music of Thelonious Monk several times each month in San Francisco. The trio is led by drummer Chuck Bernstein, with pianist Si Perkoff and bassist Sam Bevan completing the lineup. “Monk on Mondays" (CMB Records 102843) is their fourth album, but the first that I have heard. Being a Monk freak, I anxiously popped this disc into my CD player, and was completely taken with the way that these cats put their own stamp on this unique catalog of jazz tunes. There is no attempt on their part to copy the sound or style of Monk. They simply play great songs with originality, and a respect for the music. Their choice of selections is a mixture of better-known pieces like “Ruby My Dear," “Evidence," “Well You Needn't" and “Straight No Chaser" with less frequently heard items such as “Brake's Sake," “Locomotive," “Something in Blue" and “Hornin' In." A check on-line of the contents of their other three albums reveals that they made similar choices on those discs. Perkoff's playing does not resemble Monk's in the slightest, as he is a true bopper as opposed to Monk who was really a very hip pianist who never lost contact with the stride style that was played by his early influences like James P., Willie “The Lion"and “Fats." Bernstein is an effusive presence, with Bevan providing solid support. Monk's music is challenging, but rewarding to those who master it. Monk's Music Trio has succeeded in capturing its spirit, yet brings its own artistry to the table. --Joe Lang Jersey Jazz

Monk On Mondays the new CD from Monk's Music Trio hooks you right from the start of the opening track “Let's Call This," a bebop tune that features an extended bass solo by Sam Bevan, fine scatting and several abbreviated drum solos by Chuck Bernstein. Si Perkoff's piano chops are lively and impeccable. The album scheduled to hit the streets on September 1, is a tribute to Thelonious Monk and his music.

Bernstein uses his sticks to tap out an irregular clave beat on the rim of his drums, during “Bye-ya". It serves as a counterpoint to Perkoff's smooth fingers as they dance nimbly and lightly over the keys of his 1906 Steinway Grand piano.

Created in August of 2005 the CD was recorded in a very organic fashion, without the aid of much in the way of electronic wizardry. The San Francisco based trio recorded in a non traditional studio setting in Si Perkoff's Mill Valley home. Engineer Chris Seifert did a commendable job with the sound, ensuring there are no odd echoes or dead spots in the recording and that the instrumentals are evenly balanced.

Quality of sound engineering and playing unite with the production of the elegant song “Ruby My Dear." Si Perkoff's piano drives the love ballad, a tune that is in my estimation the prettiest track from Monk On Mondays.

Although Bernstein wields fabulous sticks throughout Monk On Mondays, his best performance comes on “Locomotive" as he leads another bebop charge.

The ensemble's interpretation of Monk's “Green Chimneys" is crisp and played with the ease that you would expect from a group of veteran musicians who have performed together for many years.

If you enjoy lively bebop, great piano chops, magical bass tones and a little more in your face drums then the CD Monk On Mondays is tailored for you. The album takes its name from the trio's continual performances at San Francisco's Simple Pleasures Caf two or three Mondays each month since August of 1999. -Reviewed May 2007 by Joe Montague

A brand new release from drummer Chuck Bernstein's label CMB Records, “Monk On Mondays," refers to the fact that since August of 1999 the Monk's Music Trio has been performing Thelonious Monk's music two to three Mondays a month at the Simple Pleasures Caf located in the outer Richmond District of the San Francisco Bay Area.



The trio consists of producer and drummer Bernstein, Si Perkoff on the piano and Sam Bevan bringing up the bass and happens to be the longest lasting of the Monk repertory bands. The album was actually recorded in 2005 and contains a repertoire of thirteen of Monk's compositions including one of my favorite's “Straight No Chaser," a title used by some in the radio business to name their jazz programs.



I happen to be one of those guys who briefly co-hosted a jazz show in Miami called, “Straight No Chaser With Ed Blanco and Mark Hayes," ergo my affinity for the piece. By the way Bernstein's play on this track makes this one a percussive wonder. Recorded in a live setting at Si Perkoff's home, the trio plays off each other so well that you can tell these musicians have been together for a while.

A rhythm-based band, the group delivers stylish interpretation of the master's charts so well that sometimes you think there are more than three guys playing here. Each member provides a fair portion of excellent solos as they rumble through such scores as “Let's Call This," Ruby My Dear," “Locomotive," “Well You Needn't," Light Blue," and “Criss Cross," just to name a few.

If you like Thelonious Monk's music, and who doesn't, this is one album you will definitely appreciate. Chuck Bernstein and crew play their hearts out here and do their part quite well in keeping Monk's legacy alive and well. “Monk On Mondays," is one CD you may want to hear all week, not just on Mondays. --Edward Blanco


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