Tuesday, 9 July 2013

That's the Way I Feel Now • A Tribute to Thelonious Monk

One of the many vinyl albums destroyed from a leaking roof many moons ago. Fortunate to find a rip sometime ago but I can't remember where, hope I thanked the original postee.  One of the curses (I find) of music blogs and blogging is that I hardly get time to listen to what I find, even the stuff I have been searching for forever. Gave this a bit of a listen while preparing the post and enjoyed what I was hearing.
• Stylo •

Two years after the death of pianist-composer Thelonious Monk, this very unusual and quite memorable double-LP tribute was put together. Producer Hal Willner's most successful project, the 23 interpretations of Monk originals all feature a different group of all-star players and stretch beyond jazz. Some of the performances are fairly straightforward while others are quite eccentric; certainly the crazy duet on "Four in One" by altoist Gary Windo and Todd Rundgren (on synthesizers and drum machines) and the version of "Shuffle Boil" featuring John Zorn on game calls (imitating the sound of ducks) are quite unique. There are many colorful moments throughout the project and the roster of musicians is remarkable: Bobby McFerrin with Bob Dorough, Peter Frampton, Joe Jackson, Steve Lacy, Dr. John, Gil Evans, Randy Weston, Roswell Rudd, Eugene Chadbourne and Shockabilly, the Fowler Brothers, NRBQ, Steve Khan, Carla Bley, Barry Harris, Was (Not Was) and many others. There is not a slow moment or uninteresting selection on this highly recommended set.



Arranged by Bruce Fowler

Bruce Fowler • trombones
Phil Teele • bass trombones

Tom Fowler • bass

Chester Thompson • drums

Little Rootie Tootie

Performed by NRBQ and the
 Whole Wheat Horns
Al Anderson • guitar

Terry Adams • piano
Joseph Spampinato • bass
Tom Ardolino • drums
Donn Adams • trombone

Keith Spring • tenor saxophone


Arranged and preformed by 
Steve Kahn • guitars

Donald Fagen • synthesizers

Blue Monk

Arranged and performed by
Dr. John • piano


Arranged by Carla Bley

Performed by 
The Carla Bley Band

with special guest
Johnny Griffin • tenor saxophone

Carla Bley • organ

Mike Mantler • trumpet

Gary Valente • trombone

Vincent Chancey • French horn
Bob Stewart • tuba

Steve Slagle • alto and baritone
Hiram Bullock • guitar

Kenny Kirkland • piano

Steve Swallow • bass

Victor Lewis • drums

Manolo Badrena • percussion, 
special effects

Hal Willner • the voice of death


Arranged and performed by
Barry Harris • tack piano


Was (Not Was)
David Was • flute
Don Was • guitar, synthesizer, horn arrangement
Sheila Jordan • vocal
Marcus Belgrave • trumpet
Jervonny Collier • trombone
David McMurray • alto saxophone
Michael Ward • tenor saxophone
Larry Fratangelo • percussion
Sweet Pea Atkinson • background vocal
Harry Bowens • background vocal
Carol Hall • background vocal
Donald Ray Mitchell • background vocal

Brilliant Corners

Arranged by Mark Bingham
Mark Bingham • guitar
Brenden Harkein • guitar
John Scofield • guitar
Steve Swallow • bass
Joey Barron • drums

Ask Me Now

Arranged and performed by
Steve Lacey • soprano saxophone
Charlie Rouse • tenor saxophone

Monk's Mood

Arranged by Sharon Freeman
Sharon Freeman • French horn, celeste
Featuring special guest
Willie Ruff • solo French horn
Vincent Chancey • French horn
Bill Warnick • French horn
Gregory Williams • French horn
Kenneth Barron • piano
Buster Williams • bass
Victor Lewis • drums, percussion

Four In One

Arranged and performed by
Todd Rundgren • synthesizers, 
keyboards, guitar, drum machines
Gary Windo • alto saxophones


Arranged and performed by 
Randy Weston • piano


Arranged and performed by  
Steve Lacey • soprano saxophone 
and Elvin Jones • drums

Shuffle Boil

Arranged by John Zorn
John Zorn • game calls, alto saxophone, clarinets
Arto Lindsay • guitar vocal
Wayne Horvitz • piano, organ, celeste, electronics
M. E. Miller • drums, timpani

In Walked Bud

Performed by Terry Adams and Friends
Roswell Rudd • trombone
Pat Patrick • alto saxophone
Terry Adams • piano
John Ore • bass
Frankie Dunlop • drums

Criss Cross

Arranged and performed by 
Eugene Chadbourne • acoustic, electric guitars
Mark Kramer • piano, organ, bass guitar, alto trombone, 
Dad's clocks, tapes
David Licht • drums, percussion


Mark Bingham • guitar
Brenden Harkein • guitar
John Scofield • guitar
Steve Swallow • bass
Joey Barron • drums
Additional horns
David Buck • trumpet
Don Davis • clarinet
Mars Williams • clarinet, tenor saxophone
Ralph Carney • bass saxophone, whistle

'Round Midnight

Arranged by Joe Jacckson
Joe Jackson • piano
Sharon Freeman • conductor
Jerry Little • concertmaster
Melanie Baker • violin
Sandra Billingsles • violin
Karen Gilbert • violin
Cheryl Hong • violin
Stan Hunt • violin
Crystal Garner • viola
Maxine Roach • viola
Muneer Abdul Fatah • cello
Enrique Orango • cello
Lawrence Feldman • clarinet
Steve Slagle • clarinet
Ken McIntyre • bass clarinet
Bob Cranshaw • bass
Buddy Williams • drums

Friday The Thirteenth

Original tracks arranged and performed by
Bobby McFerrin • vocals
and Bob Dorough • vocals
Dave Samuels • vibes, marimba, percussion


Chris Spedding • guitars, arrangement, concept
Peter Frampton • guitars, solo
Marcus Miller • bass
Anton Fig • drums

Gallop's Gallop

Arranged and performed by 
Steve Lacey • soprano saxophone


Arranged and performed by 
Steve Slagle • alto saxophone
Dr. John • piano
Steve Swallow • bass
and Ed Blackwell • drums

Bemsha Swing

Arranged and performed
by Steve Lacey • soprano saxophone
and Gil evans • electric and acoustic pianos

ALL MUSIC COMPOSED BY THELONIOUS MONK Published by Thelonious Music BMI except: "Bemsha Swing" written by Thelonious Monk and Denzil Best 
 "'Round Midnight" published by Warner Bros. Music, and is registered as written by Thelonious Monk, Cootie Williams, and Bernie Hanighen 
"In Walked Bud" and "Monk's Mood" published by Embassy Music BMI

Recorded and mixed at
MEDIASOUND STUDIOS through MediaMax Corporation.
Recording and mix engineer Doug Epstien

Produced by Hal Willner


Label: A&M Records ‎– SP 96600
Format: 320 
Country: US
Released: 1984
Genre: Jazz
Style: Bop, Post Bop


  1. Hey Stylo,

    I'm surprised you haven't seen more chatter about this fantastic album. Though it's difficult for me to remember the mid-eighties (for lotso reasons) I think this might have been my first introduction to Monk's music. I mean... of course I had heard Miles' version of 'Round Midnight but I think that was all I'd heard.

    I found this early on after my cousin played Willner's 'Lost in the Stars' for me. I didn't really know what to make of that album - big names playing music that was so foreign to me... but I listened over and over until the strangeness wore off and I could start to hear the music.

    When I found this CD at a local record store and read the names listed down the cover, I couldn't resist. I think at the time, it was Donald Fagen, Todd Rundgren, and Was (Not Was) that I most wanted to hear.

    Such a wonderful album. Thank you!

    1. Hi Yotte, I did have a big long essay how this coincided with me discovering monks music through various albums, One being given "Four in One" a tribute album from former band mates Kenny Barron & Ben Riley just after Monk passed away. Also Liking the Monk covers on the first Lounge Lizards album, plus a few other synchronistic moments but when I read it back I didn't like it. My aim when restarting this blog was to write about the posts and not just copy and pasting reviews but I'm not much of a writer.

  2. Thanks, my last post was about Monk, and a comment came to evoke this tribute, I was lucky to find it here (even the 1st part!).
    I had a quick "look" no enough time to make my opinion, quickly seduced by Carla Bley, but normal, I love her ;-)

  3. Could you re-up this one, please? Thanks.

  4. Could you please re-up the Willner/Monk album? I've been trying to replace my old cassette version for ages. Thanks in advance!

    1. Haven't checked comments in a while, if you haven't found already and I will send you a link