Does the world need another recording of the music of Thelonious Monk? Absolutely! And the world will be a better place because of this one. Monk's genius showed through in his brilliant performances, his moods and emotions, but mostly in his timeless compositions.
A master of complex musical structures and perfectly placed notes, his work influenced a generation of composers. The collaboration between Kim Pensyl and Phil DeGreg pays tribute to Monk's melodies in this beautiful collection. Pensyl's arrangements are delicious and fascinating, but always faithfully respecting Monk's compositions.
With 14 nationally released albums of his own work over the past 20 years (and several reaching Billboard's Top Ten), here Pensyl achieves a new standard of production and engineering. This all- acoustic recording was produced, mixed, and mastered with stunning audiophile quality it is as much a joy to the ears as the music is to the spirit. Each tune builds on the musical experience, adding ideas and hooks; you can't listen to just one track!
Phil DeGreg's masterful piano interprets Monk brilliantly and Kim Pensyl's trumpet is the perfect complement. Rick Van Matre's soulful saxophone adds depth and meaning; a virtuoso on the vibraphone, Rusty Burge's contribution is captivating; and Doug Richeson on the acoustic bass is simply irresistible. By adding just the right colors and textures with vibes, saxophone, and bass, the album becomes a work of art, a musical canvas that portrays an old master in a new light.
About Kim Pensyl and Phil DeGreg
Kim Pensyl is a prolific jazz recording artist, composer, arranger, and producer who has twice been named one of Billboard's Top-20 Contemporary Jazz Artists of the Year. A pianist and trumpeter, he has had four Top-10 albums on Billboard's Contemporary Jazz chart. He has recorded with jazz legends such as Toots Thielemans, and modern greats like Joey Calderazzo, Bob Mintzer, Chiele Minucci, Andy Narell, Will Kennedy, Steve Rodby, and Alex Acuna.
Pianist Phil DeGreg's versatility has led to professional performances with dozens of internationally recognized jazz artists, as well as leading and recording with his own groups. Phil DeGreg has released nine recordings as a leader and has been recorded as a sideman on many other jazz projects.
Performances are relaxed and comfortable, and as a group, they show respect for Monk's magnificent melodies; never attempting to make Monk's music something it is not. As tribute outings go, this one is very nice." George Fendel, Jazz Society of Oregon