The Art Ensemble of Chicago

Thelonious Sphere Monk: Dreaming of the Masters, Vol. 2

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This CD promises much more than it delivers, appearing to be a tribute to Thelonious Monk that features the Art Ensemble of Chicago and guest pianist Cecil Taylor. As it turns out, Taylor is not on the two Monk pieces ("'Round Midnight" and "Nutty"), which, although reasonably enjoyable, do not contain any new revelations. The four collaborations between the Art Ensemble (trumpeter Lester Bowie, Roscoe Mitchell and Joseph Jarman on reeds, bassist Malachi Favors and drummer Don Moye) and Taylor (which have nothing to do with Thelonious) find the group mostly in a subsidiary role behind the pianist's volcanic waves of sound. So overall, this set is more significant historically than it is musically.

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