Thelonious Monk was one of the most influential musicians in history, recording as a leader on Blue Note and performing alongside the likes of Miles Davis, Charlie Parker and John Coltrane.
In celebration of the legendary pianist’s music Martin Speake (alto saxophone), Hans Koller (euphonium, piano, Calum Gourlay (bass) and James Maddren (drums) formed Thelonious, as a monthly residency at London’s Vortex in January 2015, performing from memory Monk’s entire songbook.
For this special gig, marking Monk's centenary, Thelonious joins forces with New York guitarist and Monk expert Steve Cardenas.
In addition to the amazing compositions and his beautiful playing, the band take great inspiration from Monk's legendary advice to Steve Lacy, from 1960:
“Let’s Lift The Band Stand!!
A note can be small as a pin or as big as the world, it depends on your imagination.
Don’t play everything (or every time). Let some things go by, some music just imagined. What you don’t play can be more important that what you do. Stop playing all those weird notes, play the melody! When you’re swinging, swing some more!
What should we wear tonight? Sharp as possible!”