Scott Amendola, Ben Goldberg, Devin Hoff - Plays Monk (2007)
EAC Rip | FLAC (tracks+.cue, log) ~ 273.55 Mb | 42:50 | Cover
Post Bop | Label: Long Song Records – LSRCD104/2007
Why does it seem that the bands without pianists seem to be producing the best current interpretations of Monk material? Last year we had Ben Riley's gem, and now, (Plays Monk) - this thought provoking beauty - features the unlikely amalgamation of drummer Scott Amendola mixing it up with clarinetist Ben Goldberg and bassist Devin Hoff. Wisely, this trio doesn't try to recreate the sound of Monk's music; more often they take the melodies of these lesser known songs from the Monk canon and take them to the next idiosyncratic step. For instance, Goldberg's mid and lower ranged foray on Reflections perfectly captures the ponderously pensive mood. Amendola and Hoff furtively create a bustled rhythm on Little Rootie Tootie, while Goldberg restrains the melody by playing restrained and held back loopy notes. The tension between these two forces is joyfully palpable. The band is also able to reach the out layers of Monk's cerebellum, as on the wild and wooly Teo and & Four In One. Hoff's bass work on the latter is a roller coaster ride in itself. The idea of taking off road excursions with Monk's vehicle was a smart concept, and these guys do some remarkable ATVing with it.