- Audio CD (7 May 1999)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Label: RCA
- ASIN: B00000IOPU
- Other Editions: Audio CD
- Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 36,936 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Green Chimneys: the Music of Thelonious Monk
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When this album was released, Bournemouth's favourite ex-policeman expressed the view that most albums of the music of Thelonious Monk made by anyone other than Monk himself tended to end up as solo-theme-solo blowing sessions which detracted from Monk's skill as a composer. It's easy to see what Summer means and also refreshing to hear how his own solution to the problem is in many ways as innovative as Monk's original thinking. Rather than settling for cloning the originals and then just slapping a guitar part on top, Summers has expertly deconstructed a cluster of Monk favourites and then reassembled them with guitar parts elegantly integrated into the structure of each piece. Predictably, the selection includes "Brilliant Corners", "'Round Midnight" and so on, while the presence of Sting as guest vocalist on the latter and Summers' ability to rustle up some powerful jazz company for this recording (including Peter Erskine and Hank Roberts) is also par for the course. What's less easy to anticipate is the constant innovation of Summers' interpretations. A commendable project. --Roger Thomas
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This album is interesting on so many levels.
For one thing, it's quite something to hear the music of a piano-playing bebop pioneer from the perspective of a guitarist primarily known for rock music.
Also, considering that Monk is to music what Pablo Picasso is to art, the songs on this CD are vastly different from what Police and Andy Summers fans are used to.
In addition, Summers enlists the musical support of a veritable who's who of contemporary jazz players, including Dave Carpenter on bass, Peter Erskine and Bernie Dresel on drums, Joey de Francesco on Hammond B-3 organ, Hank Roberts on cello, Steve Taviglione on saxophone and clarinet, and Walt Fowler on trumpet. Even Summers' former Police band mate Sting shows up to provide sultry, breathy vocals on “'Round Midnight.”
While this might be an atypically difficult listen for Police and Andy Summers fans, this is a great album with which to broaden their musical horizons.
These songs are the greatest tunes from a master of bop.
I can find no flaws in the interpretations. At times the tunes swing as in Bemsha.
Boo-boo's birthday has guitar sound and style of Steve Khan, whom I love.
Brilliant Corners is experimental tango style with vast understatement.
Evidence is brilliant in that the timing is extremely difficult to play with an ensemble. The flow and swing later are wonderful. Not unlike how Sco would play the solo either (many choruses performed flawlessly by Msr. Summers). What a great arrangement (this tune is worth the price of the album).
Green Chimney is mellow, simple and intriguing. Tune is as simple as Miles in 1984 playing baby theme. The solo swings however with only bass and drums as accompaniment.
Hackensack with horns behind and out front is one of those hummable bop tunes that you will wake up singing. Strutting through the changes in a Scofield crazy way, Andy goes to straight swing style. Trumpet solo follows in a nowhere beat until the 60s Jimmy Smith style organ solo swings with delight all over the keyboard. Sing this tune regularly and your joy will overflow into the universe and make all happy somehow.
Monk's Dream flows like fine wine. Scatting along the guitar sounds growl and snarl. Then the solo smoothly descends in an intuitive lull and swing to and fro.
Round Midnight finds Sting singing with Andy in mostly a duo until bass and traps ballad this classic quite nicely.
Ruby My Dear is an acoustic solo that if you close your eyes you could hear Larry Coryell playing at his best (but alas it is Andy again).
Shuffle Boil is as dissonant as this album gets with guitar foils, trumpet and band strikes the melody with crazy sound effects. T Monk might have dug this off the cuff arrangement. It is heaven for a jazz rocker!
Think of One slowly struts in a crusty way with augmented 9ths and all. Monk could write such strange melodies to match his weird harmonies, but the result is cool music and improvisations.
Ugly Beauty is perfect melody and harmony in a Monk bop kind of way in a trio setting. Do listen to this work of art by an unknown jazzer to me. WHAT A SURPRISE!