Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Brilliant Corners: The Music Of Thelonious Monk
Genres: Jazz, Pop
Similarly Requested CDs
Willis Leonard Holman innovates again!
Brad Wood | Canoga Park, CA United States | 05/11/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a wild album. Even if you are familiar with the music of Thelonius Monk, get ready for plenty of surprises. All of the charts are recent save "Rhythm-A-Ning" which dates from the late '70's, though you'd hardly know it.Bill's arrangements have always managed to reward both critical listeners and the less sophisticated alike, with intricate counterpoint, rhythmic subtlety, advanced harmonies, and rich timbral shadings coexisting with readily apparent form and swinging forward motion. This recording is perhaps a bit more challenging than most big band outings, Holman's included, but well worth the attention of open ears and minds.From the opening cut "Straight No Chaser", a popular small group tune but rarely found in big band books, we realize soon we're not in Kansas anymore. The line itself eventually puts in an appearance to great effect near the end. The liner notes suggest influences from Bartok at work, although I'm not so sure. It works splendidly in any case.There are many other highlights: the melody of "'Round Midnight" stated initially by bass clarinet, played with great expressiveness by Bob Efford; many fine solos including Bill Perkins heard on alto, Ron Stout and Bob Summers sharing trumpet solo duties, and Pete Christlieb's ever exciting tenor.But the main rewards for me are in the writing which continues to amaze, nowhere less than the final and title track. Bill Holman's creativity and daring show no sign of flagging and should inspire us all. Thanks to all involved, and especially JVC, for enabling a project like this to happen. Highly recommmended."
Further Adventures in Progressive Explorations
Steven Fernow | Salt Lake City, Utah | 05/14/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"To begin, I've never had a refined enough ear to fully appreciate Monk, despite my untutored appreciation for the vast innovations and expansions he brought into jazz. Further, I was somewhat apprehensive upon opening this disc--it was the only Holman in the store when I was first motivated to get into him, having heard on the radio a couple of tracks from another album that truly hooked me. My first hearing of this disc was one of the most genuinely apocalyptic experiences of my life, so addictive in its multi-textured layerings of sound, so indefatigably passionate in its execution, so precise, so together, so perfect in every way. In the past I've noted my general difficulty in listening to a disc straight through, but this was one of those rare moments in which I could not touch the previous or next track button on my remote--it was that mesmerizing a listen.
I continue to think of Bill Holman as the uncrowned king of contemporary large ensemble music, and in retrospect, the success of Natalie Cole's "Unforettable" album, arranged and conducted by Holman, should never have seemed a surprize. My only complaint about Holman is that it's been too long since his last production. I've tried to search for more of his stuff , but it just ain't out there. Although my life is greatly enriched by his few albums, I just wish there were more coming from him. I probably listen to something by him every day, and I really can't say that about too many, if any, other artists.
My sentiments above duly registered, I also love this album. Not particularly sympathetic to avant-gardist "blue" notes, I was enthralled by the "tonal counterpoints," even more by the relentlessly perfect sense of rhythm and timing. EVERY tune insinuates itself into your consciousness, with its ever-expanding layers of sound providing an almost three-dimensional raid upon your sensibility. And like the greatest art, it manages both to tease the listener into liking the difficult and new, managing to both entertain and educate.
I have not expanded by much my collection of Monk, but I have come to regard him with a fonder ear, thanks to the seductive charms of Willis Leonard Holman, whose reconstruction of some of the jewels of the Monk canon should come as no surprize to anyone remotely familiar with Holman's genius."
"Brilliant" is right!
stengel99 | Bakersfield, CA USA | 10/20/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Few arrangers have dealt with Monk's music, and none have treated it so exceptionally as Bill Holman. The liner notes for the CD are right on: the previous big band treatments of Monk's music have simply been orchestrations of Monk's solos, plus space for new soloists. Bill Holman, however, does what a true jazz arranger should do: be faithful to the composer, yet inject new life into the music. It's 100% Thelonius Monk and 100% Bill Holman. The performance by Holman's band is amazing. The recording quality is among the best I've ever heard. You will keep this one in your CD player for a long time, and won't be able to get enough!"