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Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Paul Edis Plays Thelonious Monk. Live stream - Sept. 22

Paul Edis (piano)

Once again Paul Edis pops up on YouTube for another satisfying exploration  into the works of one of his heroes. Last week Bill Evans, this week Thelonious Monk. Two unique pianists diametrically opposed but both equally creative in their individual approach to composition and improvisation.

Evans is probably the more accessible player for anyone coming to the
music of either for the first time. Indeed it took me many years before I accepted Monk's piano playing for the stroke of genius that it was. Edis' comparision with Picasso I found very apt. I have many CDs and LPs by Monk all bought because they featured Coltrane, Rollins, Johnny Griffin or, particularly, Charlie Rouse so that when I did finally cotton on to Monk it was like hearing them as if it was the first time.

Last night, Paul didn't pay mere lip-service but, whilst showing respect, put his own stamp on the music.

Introducing each number with recording dates and historical background we heard: Four in One; San Francisco Holiday (a new one on me); Ba-Lu Bolivar Ba-Lues-Are; Ugly Beauty; Crepescule With Nellie; Bemsha Swing; Monk's Mood (possibly the most romantic tune of the evening); Raise Four; Well You Needn't; Off Minor and 'Round Midnight.

Two very enjoyable concerts. Will Paul turn it into a series? Jarrett, Corea, Tatum, Jelly Roll? We shall wait and see.

Lance.

3 comments :

Lance said...

Listening to Paul playing Monk last night brought to mind one of Paul's former students at Sage Gateshead back in 2009 - Harley Johnson. Harley was heavily Monk influenced. He migrated south to one of the music colleges then disappeared off the north east radar.

Anyone know how he's doing these days?

Ron Ainsborough said...

This shows that Paul's is sheer class. Absolutely brilliant.!!!
Don't think many pianists would dare to attempt Monks music the way Paul has.
Thoroughly enjoyed the 60+ minutes with all its anecdotal stories of Monk
Actually saw Monks quartet at Durham University in the 60's, a fantastic gig I recall.

Brian Ebbatson said...

I can only endorse all the comments and compliments above. I really like Paul’s new format and hope he continues to find similar inspiration.
Great also to hear from someone else who was at Monk’s ‘classic’ Quartet performance in Dunelm House back in the sixties. In all the lunchtime concerts at the Durham Gala over the last 5-6 years, no-one else in the audience has claimed to have been there when the question was put. Was it ‘65 or ‘66? Brian E

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