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The Short Life of Barbara Monk

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Audio CD (3 Mar. 2003)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Soul Note
  • ASIN: B000004001
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 572,578 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
  • Sample this album Artist (Sample)
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: MP3 Download Verified Purchase
I bought this record on vinyl from the wonderful Iona Records in Glasgow over twenty years ago, on the basis of an intriguing review in the Wire magazine- back in the days when the Wire was predominantly a Jazz magazine, under the editorship of the great Richard Cook. I loved it then, and was delighted to find it available at such a reasonable price to download, having recently received one of those new fangled I-Pods for Christmas.Ran Blake is a complete original-a Jazz pianist and composer whose influences on this record include the great American songbook,- the record opens with a uniquely unsettling version of ''I've Got You Under My Skin''- Sephardic music, and Latin Rhythms-with a version of Stan Kenton's ''Artistry in Rhythm'' thrown in for good measure. This record was unlike anything I had ever heard when I first bought it, and I'm pleased to say that Blake's compositions, particularly the title track still sound haunting and fresh.I am very pleased to make the acquaintance of this record again.Try this for something different.It'll stay with you.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0xa13c97ec) out of 5 stars 3 reviews
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa137263c) out of 5 stars Melancholic, Yet Life-Affirming 2 Sept. 2007
By David Conklin - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is an intriguing album, perhaps one of the most memorable jazz recordings of the 1980s. Ran Blake is a unique pianist, probably best described as impressionistic. Most of his recordings have been in a solo or duet setting; this one is a more conventional quartet date. Ricky Ford (who I was previously unfamiliar with), plays great tenor sax on all tracks--there are some similarities, I think, with the better known Joe Lovano and perhaps Charles Lloyd. Occasionally, Ford evokes Sonny Rollins or even Ben Webster. Bassist Ed Felson and drummer Jon Hazilla who, like Ford, are former students of Blake at the New England Conservatory of Music, provide solid, enthusiastic support.

Although this recording falls well-within the range of the avant-garde, there is little in the way of "screeching cats"--most everything is easy on the ears, and quite beautiful. Some of this music--like other great music in this and other genres--can be somewhat disturbing. The album's centerpiece, the title track, is a tribute to Thelonious Monk's daughter, who died of cancer in 1984, just two years after her father. It's a complex, dream-like piece that evokes a variety of emotions. A couple of other tracks are also related to a theme of death, while others are generally more upbeat. In total, this recording, while somewhat melancholic, is life-affirming. The disc satisfies on both an intellectual and emotional level. The recording and audio quality are excellent.
9 of 13 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9edde0b4) out of 5 stars A lyrical treat 30 April 2008
By Eric Sedensky - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Since this recording often falls into the avant-garde classification, I didn't have very high expectations, but Short Life really surprised me. The songs are very well written and highly interesting, and the recording as a whole tries to tell a meaningful story without bogging the listener down in the details. I found most of the songs very lyrical and melodic, and some of them are quite short, which is unusual for a jazz album of this era. This is one of those recordings I've been intent on "experiencing", so I don't know a lot about the musicians or the circumstances of the recording. All I know is, many sources recommend this CD to casual and serious jazz fans alike, and so do I.
3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9edf1b34) out of 5 stars Excellent real jazz music 1 Feb. 2014
By Karen Hochstadter - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
I've been wanting this CD ever since I heard it about 20 years ago being played during a jazz segment of my radio station. The cut I heard was the title song & I was mesmerized. I recommend it to anyone who loves good real jazz.
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