Monday, July 4, 2011

Arthur Blythe - Light Blue

With his unusually voiced, piano-less quintet Blythe takes on the music of Thelonious Monk. As often seems to happen when others play Monk, particularly without a piano, the songs seem less 'odd', less Monkish somehow. The music is enjoyable and adventurous and Blythe is powerful and emotional in his solos, but somehow it just never achieves the infectious swing and humor that I associate with Monk. I like it a lot mind you, but differently. I think that when others play Monk's music, just the smallest changes in time or melody and the pieces somehow seem loose their 'Monk-ness' and become just another good song.


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