T.J. Kirk

If Four Was One

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The idea of three guitarists and a drummer who play the music of Thelonious Monk, James Brown and Rahsaan Roland Kirk may seem odd or limiting, but the musicianship of the players in question has produced an album that explicitly explores the connections between the compositions of these three legendary musicians while raising the stakes in the debate about what is and isn't "jazz." Scott Amendola's drumming is precisely funky throughout, and Charlie Hunter's 8-string guitar supplies both the punchy basslines and the heavily chorused chords that Will Bernard and Will Schott build upon, resulting in a tightly rendered "The Payback," a stirring version of the eternal "Ruby, My Dear" and the multiple tempos and timbres of "Brake's Sake." Worthwhile.

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