Monk On Mondays the new CD from Monk’s Music Trio hooks you right from the start of the opening track "Let’s Call This," a bebop tune that features an extended bass solo by Sam Bevan, fine scatting and several abbreviated drum solos by Chuck Bernstein. Si Perkoff’s piano chops are lively and impeccable. The album scheduled to hit the streets on September 1, is a tribute to Thelonious Monk and his music.
Bernstein uses his sticks to tap out an irregular clave beat on the rim of his drums, during "Bye-ya." It serves as a counterpoint to Perkoff’s smooth fingers as they dance nimbly and lightly over the keys of his 1906 Steinway Grand piano.
Created in August of 2005 the CD was recorded in a very organic fashion, without the aid of much in the way of electronic wizardry. The San Francisco based trio recorded in a non traditional studio setting in Si Perkoff’s Mill Valley home. Engineer Chris Seifert did a commendable job with the sound, ensuring there are no odd echoes or dead spots in the recording and that the instrumentals are evenly balanced.
Quality of sound engineering and playing unite with the production of the elegant song "Ruby My Dear." Si Perkoff’s piano drives the love ballad, a tune that is in my estimation the prettiest track from Monk On Mondays.
Although Bernstein wields fabulous sticks throughout Monk On Mondays, his best performance comes on "Locomotive" as he leads another bebop charge.
The ensemble’s interpretation of Monk’s "Green Chimneys" is crisp and played with the ease that you would expect from a group of veteran musicians who have performed together for many years.
If you enjoy lively bebop, great piano chops, magical bass tones and a little more in your face drums then the CD Monk On Mondays is tailored for you. The album takes its name from the trio’s continual performances at San Francisco’s Simple Pleasures Café two or three Mondays each month since August of 1999.