A great little entry into a genre that got way too overdone and way too cluttered by the end of the 80s – but which was surprisingly fresh at the time of this initial release! The set pays tribute to the late Thelonious Monk, but does so by moving way past his modern jazz roots – and allowing for participation by a variety of artists in a number of different fields. Hal Willner masterminded the set, and does a great job of making unlike artists work well next to each other – really expanding on famous numbers by Monk, but never getting too goofy overall. Titles include "Functional" by Randy Weston, "Four In One" by Todd Rundgren & Gary
Windo, "Thelonious" by Bruce Fowler, "Criss
Cross" by Shockabilly, "In Walked Budd" by Terry Adams & Roswell Rudd, "Evidence" by Steve Lacy & Elvin Jones, "Ba-Lu-Bolivar-Ba-Lues-Are" by Was Not Was, "Ask Me Now" by Steve Lacy & Charlie Rouse, "Monk's Mood" by Sharon Freeman, "Round Midnight" by Joe Jackson, and "Friday The Thirteen" by Bobby McFerrin and Bob Dorough. There's plenty of other great Lacy work on the set too – and even if you're put off by the presence of non-jazzers on the set, the album's worth it alone for the Lacy tracks!
(Includes the printed inner sleeves.)