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Album Review

Monk and Me could be considered a tribute to Thelonious Monk, except that only five of the CD's eleven selections were actually written by Monk. The other six are originals by Trainor, whose writing generally isn't all that Monkish on this hard bop/post-bop session. Trainor's "Monk and Me" is clearly mindful of Monk's angular style, but other Trainor originals like the reflective "Again to This Star," the reverent "One Face, One Smile, One Heart (Portrait of Mother Teresa)" and the sad, rueful "B's Waltz" have more in common with Bill Evans (one of Trainor's main influences) and Keith Jarrett. And on familiar Monk standards like "Well You Needn't" and "Straight, No Chaser," Trainor expresses his admiration for the pianist without becoming a slavish imitator. Although Trainor is basically a very "inside" hard bop/post-bop player, Cecil Taylor's radical influence asserts itself on some of the tunes. In fact, "Straight, No Chaser" and the title song both find Trainor showing us how much of an impact Monk had on Taylor. Trainor's guest soloists include alto saxman Richie Cole, tenor saxman Steve Marcus, and Philly resident John Swana, a big-toned trumpeter and Clifford Brown lover who plays the EVI exclusive on this above-average date.

Customer Reviews

Loved it

Stunning piano playing, beautiful sounding album

Monk & Me, Brian Trainor Trio And Friends
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