Monk Congratulations!

by danielgoode

October 14, 2012 11:39:45 PM EDT

Wow, Christian, I was blown away by your Monk interpretation and playing. And Greg’s too. He’s such a creative drummer! It was such a breath of fresh air to hear something that feels musically akin to what Monk does in composition. He’s really the only one I ever want to hear improvising on his tunes.

So you’ve made an intervention. No matter how brilliant the other side-men’s playing is—was—it’s always seemed business as usual compared to Monk’s minimalist use of his own motifs. He couldn’t leave it just to the changes. He does the material.

And I loved your “dry” playing. That also is what I love about Monk doing himself. But your interpretations were also lush in harmonic ideas, and textures. And never gooey.

Also, your medley’s of more than one tune, your intros and outros. Totally convincing and groovy.

I’ve been doing a little “instant criticism,” called Thumb-Nail Reviews. I’d like to add this letter. It just goes to a few people as an email, some of whom you know, like Larry. Hope that’s OK.

Thumbnail review.

Greg Campbell and Christian Asplund, collectively AC/GC will perform all 70 or so compositions by Thelonious Monk to celebrate his 95th birthday on 10 October, joined by special guest performers. Interpretations of these sublime/inscrutable compositions will run the gamut from inside out, familiar to unexpected. At Spectrum, 12 Ludlow Street in Manhattan.