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Three Wise Monkeys by Benn Clatworthy

Benn Clatworthy is a superb tenor saxophone player (in this era of non-compliance to the jazz idiom). His worthy constituents, Joe Bagg at the Hammond B3 and Don Littleton on drums, round out a first-class jazz group.

In the title tune "Three Wise Monkeys," a Clatworthy original, the tenor solo is pure magic. His ideation is not only creative, but carries a message on that horn in a most definitive way. Joe Bagg lays down some great lines, adding a Bird riff most discreetly. Littleton's timing is like a Rolex watch.

Benn Clatworthy parlays "By the Time I Get to Phoenix" into a jazz classic. His heart and soul is inherent in every note. Bagg comps most adroitly and Littleton adds just the right touch to this now, new song.

"Just Another Addiction" is just that, addictive! Some dark thoughts from Clatworthy who then spins them into a most decisive admonition to someone. His soliloquy is direct and to the point. Bagg's riposte seems to commiserate with the tenor and Littleton adds his advice to an already deep conversation.

"I Cover The Watefront." This is a special tune and it is given special treatment here. This is the sweetest tenor solo that I have heard on this song. I am not ashamed to say that it brought a tear to my eye. Benn Clatworthy has a message and he tells it most adequately. Again, the drums and B3 are in synch with the beauty of this musical missive.

"One For Pete." Pete is one lucky guy to be spoken to in such a manner by a tenor sax. Are you listening Pete? Benn has some important things to say to you. Do you owe him any money? Benn gets serious here. Joe Bagg slides in most gracefully and Don Littleton keeps it all in order. Some interesting 12 bar exchanges between B3 and drums with the tenor admonishing both briefly.

This is an album for the true cognoscenti. A worthy addition to the collection of a true jazz lover.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Benn Clatworthy
  • CD Title: Three Wise Monkeys
  • Genre: BeBop / Hard Bop
  • Year Released: 2010
  • Record Label: BCM Records
  • Rating: Five Stars
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