John Stetch

Exponentially Monk

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When they interpret Thelonious Monk's songs, most pianists try to play close to his style. John Stetch took a different approach on his Monk tribute. On some pieces he plays inside the piano, while on others he injects the music with his own whimsical humor. "Green Chimneys" is his impression of bluegrass, while some other numbers are reharmonized, given a very free improvisation, or in a couple cases played straight. One aspect to Monk's music that Stetch retains is Thelonious' insistence on keeping the melody close by and improvising as much off the theme as off the chord changes. This set is full of surprises, and one suspects that Thelonious Monk would have enjoyed hearing it.

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