Monk on Mondays
Monday's are Monk days at San Francisco's Simple Pleasure Cafe', where the Monk's Music Trio has been holding forth regularly since August 1999, making it the longest lasting of the Monk repertory bands in history of Jazz. During those eight years the firmly established unit under the leadership of veteran Chuck Bernstein and featuring musical director/pianist Si Perkoff, and bassist Sam Bevan, has developed a resounding rapport with the repertoire of Jazz's most iconoclastic composer, presenting personal interpretations of his tunes both familiar and obscure, that are true to the spirit of Monk while still showcasing their own individual talents. On 'Monk on Mondays', the group's fourth CD, the trio demonstrates their remarkable command of the compositions in Monk's canon with thirteen new renditions of the pianist's pieces---including 'Locomotive' one of the least performed and recorded Monk compositions. A FEW THOUGHTS AND COMMENTS FROM CHUCK BERNSTEIN: 'Since August 23, 1999, 'Monk's Music Trio' has been continuously performing two to three Mondays' a month at the Simple Pleasures Cafe' in San Francisco. This cafe' is a marvelous old-fashioned, funky coffee house in the outer Richmond district of the city. While practicing your instrument and rehearsals are necessary, in my opinion, the best way to mature and develop as a jazz musician is in front of an audience. In that respect Ahmed Riad and his staff have always been gracious, supportive, and give us a positive environment in which to create and develop our interpretations of Thelonious Monk's music. Over the years, I have always enjoyed rehearsing at Si Perkoff's house in Mill Valley. Two of the main reasons that make it such an enjoyable experience are that first, the room we practice in has wonderful acoustical properties, and second, I get to hear Si play on his beautiful 1906 Steinway grand piano. Given those two aspects, plus the fact that Si has recorded two of his own CDs there, I thought we could get excellent results, but it would also be a memorable experience. Just to be on the safe side, I had our engineer, Chris Seifert, come to Si's house and check out the acoustical properites of the room. After we got the go ahead from Chris, we checked our schedules, and found that August 2005 would be an ideal time to record. To help reduce the anxieties of recording, get everyone in a relaxed state of mind, and get a good momentum going, I decided that, instead of recording the usual one or two days, we would have the luxury of four days to record our CD. As it turns out, that was a good decision, and all of us feel that, to date, this is our best trio recording. Our hope is that you enjoy listening to 'Monk On Mondays' as much as we had recording it.' Chuck Bernstein May 2007.
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