Thelonious Monk is alive and well and living in Santa Cruz, CA, as a 60 year old white woman named Jessica Jennifer Williams. If there's a better post-bop piano player playing today, I'll eat my CD collection, disk by disk.
Ms Williams is the real deal: A player blessed with a natural sense of rhythm and swing, balanced with HUGE technique achieved through decades of practice, mixed with a playful inventiveness - and all of it driven by GENIUS.
There's no better introduction to Ms Williams' music than to meet her live and solo. And of her many live, solo albums, "Live at Maybeck Recital Hall," is the best. Check out her renditions of "Why Do I Love You?" and "Nice Work if You Can Get It" - or her homage to Bill Evans, "I Remember Bill." If you like solo jazz piano, it doesn't get any better than this.
As for the sonics, Concord Records' series of live solo piano recordings at Maybeck Hall, (Ms Williams' album is the 21st), are close to perfect. I swear, listening to Ms Williams' album is almost like being there - and I ought to know, because I was.