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Friday, February 13, 2009

Jimmy Halperin & Dominic Duval - Monk Dreams (NoBusiness Records, 2009) ****

Recorded at about the same time as "Monkinus", the album by the same duo released on CIMP, the album is as good without adding too much. "Blue Monk", "Brilliant Corners", "Ruby, My Dear", "Epistrophy", "Criss Cross", "Evidence", "Monk's Dream", "Bye-ya", "Off Minor" figure on both albums. The only additional track you get is "Trinkle Tinkle". Yet never mind. If you don't know or don't have "Monkinus", this one is as good, with a sound quality which is even better. Halperin's tenor soars, sings, dances and plays around all these well-known tunes by Thelonious Monk, and both musicians really enjoy what they do. Duval's bass is excellent as usual, playing the themes in unison with the tenor, then fixing the rhythm like clockwork. Without piano, and without drums, Monk's music is reduced to its bare essence, but certainly not the poorer for it. Halperin improvises beautifully, with a strong emotional component, unleashing the blues in Monk's music, while maintaining the inherent playfulness of the compositions. The performance is excellent. A really nice album.

Buy from Instantjazz.

Listen to Blue Monk.

© stef