Friday, August 10, 2012

The Microscopic Septet Plays Big Monk

The Microscopic Septet was active between 1980 and 1992 and came back together in 2006 on the occasion of the re-release of their original recordings.  Both the re-release and the reunion are very good signs for the state of modern jazz.  I will still lodge a complaint.  The re-release-Seven Men In Neckties-doesn't seem to be available for download.  There is no excuse for this!  I would have downloaded it tonight if I had found it.  

What I did download was Friday the Thirteenth: the Micros Play Monk.  It occurs to me that if I had a dollar for every album devoted to Monk compositions, I'd be able to buy more albums devoted to Monk compositions.  There is no such thing as too many.  This one is delicious.  Here is the lineup:
That's obviously a horn-heavy band, with almost a big band feel at times.  It excels at texture and drama.   The sound of each instrument is exquisite.  I just can't get enough baritone sax.  Sewelson's sax adds enormous muscle when all the horns are playing together. 

Each solo is a little gem.  Each piece sparkles with dozens of these gems.  There are no weak links in the chain, but I have to single out Forrester's piano and founder Johnston's soprano sax.  For heaven's sake and Monk's memory, get this one.

I am playing 'Brilliant Corners' and 'Misterioso'. 

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