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Lewis, Gregory: Organ Monk Blue

Hammond B3 organ specialist Gregory Lewis is a New York native who has made the study of iconic jazz pianist Thelonious Monk a lifelong pursuit. On Lewis' latest effort titled Organ Monk Blue, he celebrates the one hundredth anniversary of Monk's birth by covering the artist over eight compositions, delving into some lesser known tracks in the process. These reinterpretations are really a joy to listen to and anyone who appreciates organ led music should give this a listen. Rounding out the trio are Marc Ribot (guitar) and Jeremy Bean Clemons (drums and cymbals). This is Lewis' fourth disc celebrating Monk's music.

This is a powerful trio and each musician plays a vital role in these reworkings of classic jazz. On the first track "Green Chimneys" the organ is front and center with the guitar more subtle and set back in the soundscape. The powerful organ drives the song forward with some great playing. The drums and organ hammer away in the spontaneous reimagining of "Blue Sphere", where call and response organ and stabbing guitar chords add to the fireworks as Clemons works up a frenzy behind the kit. I could listen to the bluesy lead guitar runs all day. Ultra-fast organ and guitar lines highlight "Raise Four" before a lovely organ colours the pretty "Mysterioso" as Clemons lays down a swaggering beat. More great musicianship and lightning fast solos punctuate "Nutty" and the album ending "Ba-Lue Bolivar Ba-Lues-Are", with the organ being quite catchy, especially in the latter track.

Organ Monk Blue will be an essential listen for any fan of organ led music, jazz and blues and of course Thelonious Monk. Highly recommended.

Track Listing:
1. Green Chimneys
2. Blue Sphere
3. Raise Four
4. Mysterioso
5. Blue Hawk
6. Nutty
7. Blues Five Spot
8. Ba-Lue Bolivar Ba-Lues-Are

Added: March 20th 2018
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Artist's Official Site
Hits: 1105
Language: english

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