T.S. Monk (born 1949) played in his dad's band later in the elder Monk's career. After his father's passing, the son created the Thelonious Monk Institute, not only to honor his memory but also to help young musicians along their way. The son had success in the r'n'b field in a group that featured his sister Barbara but turned to jazz in the 1990s, traveling the world and continuing his father's legacy.
T.S. Monk brings his Sextet to Crowell Concert Hall, Wyllys Avenues, in Middletown for an 8 p.m. concert. Titled "Celebrating 100 Years of Thelonious Monk", the drummer/leader heads a fine band that includes the excellent young pianist Theo Hill plus Willie Williams (tenor saxophone), Randall Haywood (trumpet), April May Webb (vocals), Patience Higgins (alto saxophone, flute), and Kenny Davis (bass) - I realize that it's actually a septet but that's jazz for you. For ticket information, go to www.wesleyan.universitytickets.com.
Here's a track from one of T.S. Monk's early (1997) tributes to his father:
The John Hollenbeck Large Ensemble gathers at 7 p.m. in the Veronica Wegman Concert Hall, 43 Lake Avenue Extension on the campus of Western CT State University in Danbury. The 20-member ensemble is celebrating its 20th anniversary (!) have a new album, "All Can Work", released earlier this year on New Amsterdam Records (my review is here). The album illustrates Hiollenbeck's myriad influences, from Kenny Wheeler to William Shakespeare to Billy Strayhorn to Cary Grant's experiments with LSD to the great trumpet teacher and Ensemble member Laurie Frink (who passed in 2013), and more. The biggest influences on the composer and arranger Hollenbeck have been his long associations with Meredith Monk and Bob Brookmeyer (1929-2011). One can hear the influences in the melodies the drummer creates, how he uses voice, and his fascinating arrangements.
I love how this group can go from "a whisper to a scream" in a heartbeat, how the solos grow organically out of the ensemble work, and how vocalist Theo Bleckmann is part of the ensemble sound as well as lead vocalist. The band is stocked with many of the best musicians working in creative music, many of whom have been members since the group's inception. For more information and a listing of the personnel, go to www.eventbrite.com/e/23rd-annual-jazz-fest-featuring-the-john-hollenbeck-tickets-44268366877.
Here's the JHLE in action:
|Photo: Wolfgang Gonaus|
The first set commences at 8:30 p.m. For more information and reservations, go to thesidedoorjazz.com or call 860-434-2600.
Here's Expansions dancing its way through one of Wayne Shorter's classic tunes: