John Beasley’s MONK’estra Opera House, Wellington (8pm) Saturday, June 9 John Beasley’s MONK’estra is a big band dedicated to playing the music of pianist/composer Thelonious Monk and for this performance the core of the America group was augmented by some local players including Rodger Fox and members from his jazz orchestra.
John Beasley presents… MONK’estra, Vol. 2 Mack Avenue/Southbound You can almost hear the gnashing of the teeth of purists – Why do this to Monk? – but though Volume 2 of Beasley’s reworkings of Monk tunes for his own big band is the inevitable mixed bag (opening with Dontae Winslow’s rap on Brake’s Sake is […]
Ben Riley has died. He was 84. So, a good innings – sure. He was one of my favourite drummers. He is one of my favourite drummers. His playing – of course – lives on. So strong, so subtle, so supple, understated – and yet he was always right there, riding hard on the cymbal […]
Woody Shaw, Master of the Art (1982) I really got hooked on Woody Shaw after hearing Larry Young’s Unity album (man I love that album!) and then I found a few Woody Shaw recordings, on CD. And eventually this. I held onto this for a while, played it a bit – liked it – but […]
Kris Bowers Heroes + Misfits Concord If you want to bridge the gap between Thelonious Monk and Robert Glasper you can look to Kris Bowers, 24-year-old wunderkind, here to save modern jazz and jazz-piano in one fell swoop. Bowers’s debut as a leader shows his skills and knowledge across classical, jazz and modern composition. There’s […]