The 1987 version of String Jazz (whose ancestor was Buellgrass) consisted of bassist Buell Neidlinger, longtime musical friend Marty Krystall on tenor saxophone, violinist Brenton Banks, John Kurnick on mandolin, and drummer Billy Osborne. Neidlinger's band performs seven Thelonious Monk songs, three by Duke Ellington plus Mercer Ellington's "Jumpin' Punkins." Although several of the selections had been recorded by Neidlinger during the past decade, these renditions sound quite a bit different. Krystall is a powerful soloist. The obscure string players fare quite well, and such tunes as "Rockin' in Rhythm," "Skippy," "I Mean You," and "Boo Boo's Birthday" are all given fresh renditions. Recommended.
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AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow