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Bebop Spoken There

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'606' Club: "A toast to Lance Liddle of the terrific jazz blog 'Bebop Spoken Here'"

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12,579 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 12 years ago. 298 of them this year alone and, so far, 19 this month (March 4).

Sunday March 7

HAPPY BIRTHDAY JEREMY McMURRAY & LIZ BEIDERBECKE

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Digital album review: Paul Edis & Graeme Wilson - Big as a Mountain, Small as a Pin: Paul Edis & Graeme Wilson play the music of Thelonious Monk

Paul Edis (piano); Graeme Wilson (tenor saxophone)
(Review by Russell)

Over a period of ten years and more pianist Paul Edis and saxophonist Graeme Wilson have worked together in several high profile outfits including the Paul Edis Sextet, the Graeme Wilson Quartet, Splinter Group and ACV. In addition they have released their own albums including those of Edis' sextet on which Wilson can be heard playing reeds and Wilson's quartet on which Edis plays piano. Now, some two and a half years on from recording as a duo, Edis and Wilson are about to release an online album of the music of a shared enthusiasm - Thelonious Monk. 

It is some five years or so since Edis and Wilson played the first of their occasional Monk gigs and this digital-only release comprises several of the compositions heard in concert during that time. Ten tracks - from the opening Four in One with its many 16th notes to a stately Monk's Mood to Wilson's muscular tenor sax and Edis' subtle stride patterns on the closing Epistrophy - Big as a Mountain, Small as a Pin is a fascinating listen. 

Thelonious Monk composed and recorded a lot of material and the selections on this online album are drawn from across two decades, ranging from the early career Monk's Mood (1947) to mid/late career Ugly Beauty (1967), the latter being Monk's sole waltz and recorded only once (Underground LP on Columbia). Edis and Wilson interpret their subject's compositions with loving care yet it is unmistakably pianist Edis and saxophonist Wilson making their creative mark - TS Monk would undoubtedly have approved. 

Highlights come thick and fast but, to point to one particular highlight, Trinkle, Tinkle is a furious rat-a-tat-tat ride with Wilson, à la Coltrane, skillfully negotiating the fiendish melody and Edis digging back to Monk the quirky stride pianist just as Monk dug back to an earlier generation of stride piano giants.   
                
Big as a Mountain, Small as a Pin: Paul Edis & Graeme Wilson play the music of Thelonious Monk will be released as an online album on Friday 14th February and don't forget on that very same day Edis & Wilson play Monk at the Lit and Phil. 1:00pm. £6 on the door.

Ten tracks - 1) Four in One 2) Jackie-ing 3) We See 4) Monk's Mood 5) San Francisco Holiday (Worry Later) 6) Trinkle Tinkle 7) Ugly Beauty 8) Hornin' In 9) Light Blue 10) Epistrophy - with a total playing time of 54 minutes 57 seconds were recorded at Reid Concert Hall, Edinburgh on 25th July 2017 and recorded, mixed and mastered by Roderick Buchanan-Dunlop. Artwork by Fin McGeachy, design by Cath Keay.  
Russell

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