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Rumba Para Monk

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Album Review

Jerry Gonzalez has referred to himself as being "bilingual" in that he is equally skilled on trumpet and congas, in bebop and in Latin music. Gonzalez succeeds in his goal of combining the two idioms without watering down either style on this essential Sunnyside CD. The first Afro-Cuban Thelonious Monk tribute has plenty of spots for the percussion of Steve Berrios and Gonzalez, but also contains many strong solos from the leader's often-muted Miles-influenced trumpet, Carter Jefferson's tenor, and Larry Willis' very un-Monk-like piano. With the exception of "Ugly Beauty," the Latin percussion is an integral part of each performance, giving this set of Monk tunes a very different perspective that is also quite flexible. A highly enjoyable set with the highlights including "Bye-Ya," "Nutty," "Little Rootie Tootie," and "Jackie-ing."

Customer Reviews

One of the best (so called) latin jazz records ever

If you like monk, you've never heard him like this. If you like latin jazz, you'll discover monk. Jerry explains the common thread between both musical worlds, and it takes a kid growing up in the midst of the harlem jazz scene first hand acquaintance of the jazz greats of NYC (you know them!) of the 60's and 70's to see so clearly the implicit reading of monks music in 'clave'. As Jerry points out when Monk would suddenly stand up, away from the piano, and dance/moving his feet, he was -tirando pasos: throwing out some dance steps in the synchopated clave code which isnt the same as jazz' beat. Jerry's band is great, his brother's nimble and deeply rythmic bass playing, the solid percussive foundation, percussive piano ala monk, and Jerry's beautiful Miles like horn. Good recording, one of the must underappreciated recordings of jazz since 1980, and a pioneer of the leading edge of the reassesment of the jazz masters that took place in around 1990...


Born: June 5, 1949 in New York City, New York, USA

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s

Jerry Gonzalez has taken a global view of jazz in creating his unique brand of improvised music. While his trumpet and flügelhorn reflect the influence of Miles Davis and Dizzy Gillespie, his personal cultural roots have given him a natural understanding of Afro-Cuban rhythms. As he explained to The Detroit News, "I am bilingual -- I speak Spanish and English. I can play the blues and I can play the rumba." Launching his musical career in 1970 as a member of Dizzy Gillespie's band, Gonzalez briefly...
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Rumba Para Monk, Jerry Gonzalez
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