Steve Lacy

Steve Lacy Plays Monk

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Steve Lacy's many recordings of Thelonious Monk tunes through the years are never less than intriguing and always quite respectful to Monk's themes. This set, with bassist Jean-François Jenny-Clark, drummer Aldo Romano, and (on four of the six numbers) pianist Michel Graillier, was Lacy's first Paris recording; the French city would be his home base for the next few decades. Lacy explores five of Monk's complex compositions, including "Light Blue," "Mysterioso," and "Friday the Thirteenth," plus two versions of Monk's theme "Epistrophy." Lacy thoughtfully digs into the tunes and comes up with fresh and fairly free variations. The music on this Affinity LP (an English label) has not yet reappeared on CD.