Monk and Me

COMPOSERS: Brian Trainor,Thelonius Monk
LABELS: Summit
PERFORMER: Brian Trainor Trio & Friends
CATALOGUE NO: DCD 253

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After the cabaret, of course, the dancing begins. Both jazz and the classical tradition have cheerfully appropriated popular dance forms, the latter effectively transforming them into compositional styles, with bourrées, chaconnes, gavottes, polonaises, mazurkas and so on cropping up in all manner of contexts, from keyboard music to opera and ballet suites.

Jazz waltzes will often become standards, perhaps because the inflexible nature of the rhythm makes successful examples too precious to abandon. Even Thelonious Monk, whose unique compositional approach defined so many of the terms on which modern jazz piano operates, wrote only one waltz, ‘Still We Dream’.

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Pianist BRIAN TRAINOR not only includes this on his half-Monk, half-originals collection, along with other Monk classics such as ‘Hackensack’ and ‘Straight, No Chaser’, but along the way adds another of his own, the altogether bleaker ‘B’s Waltz’. Trainor’s band has a punchy, brisk sound which serves the material well.