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Label: Motéma Music
Round Midnight; Evidence; Ugly Beauty; Rhythm-a-Ning; Epistrophy; Straight No Chaser; Pannonica.
Joey Alexander: piano; Scott Colley: bass; Willie Jones III: drums.
In celebration of Thelonious Monk’s centennial, Joey Alexander performed at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Appel Room in June of 2017. The resulting live album, Joey.Monk.Live! captures Joey’s trio, with bassist Scott Colley and drummer Willie Jones III, exploring Monk’s music in imaginative and deeply-felt ways. In solo, duo and trio performances, Joey pays tribute to the pianist and composer who first made an impression on him and who still serves as a guiding inspiration. How pianist Joey Alexander acquired the skill to play Thelonious Monk’s perplexing music by age 14 is unclear, but indeed this document finds him meeting the challenge and more. Performing either solo, or in duo and trio format with bassist Scott Colley and drummer Willie Jones III, Alexander displays a striking technical command, authoritative rhythmic sense, and interpretive whimsy on par with the world’s top players. Whether it’s ballads (“Ugly Beauty”) or charged swing (“Evidence”), Alexander delivers with remarkable poise and consistency.