SHADES OF THELONIOUS! Ethan Iverson, Lee Konitz, Larry Grenadier, Jorge Rossy: Costumes are Mandatory

Some people are born Monk, some achieve Monk, and others have Monk thrust upon them.

The Mehldau-associated Larry Grenadier/b and Jorge Rossy/dr draft The Bad  Plus’ Ethan Iverson/p and alto icon Lee Konitz for a series of tunes that has a feel of early Theolonious Monk at his most bebopping and quizzical. Many artists attempt to capture the unique feel, swing and harmonies of the famous pianist, but this trio seems to capture it by a bone marrow transplant. The spacious and bluesy swing of “Blueberry Ice Cream” or “It’s You” have the rhythm team flow together naturally into a playful entity, and when Konitz brings his sandpaper toned alto in, the mixture is like a wonderful yellow curry of jazz. Iverson is remarkably adroit, demonstrating an impressive mix of alacrity and creativity as on “It’s You” while Konitz’s pungent sound brings flavors of gorgonzola into the salad. He and Grenadier do remarkable work on a duo take of “Body and Soul” while the trio make sweet melody on “Blueberry Hill.” The remaining  part of the disc has a few missteps, and almost stumbles onto the floor with Konitz’s voice on  “My Old Flame” and a second take of “Blueberry Ice Cream,” but the beginning of the show more than make up for the Fini.

High Note Records

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