A great take on the music of Thelonious Monk
– recorded with special sensitivity by reedman James Spaulding, who ensures that the sound goes way past the usual Monk
-styled outing! Things start out in relatively familiar territory, but as the record progresses it really opens up – as Spaulding moves between alto sax and flute, and works beautifully with Wallace Roney on trumpet, Mulgrew Miller on piano, Ron Carter on bass, and the great Kenny Washington on drums. Given the experience of the players, the album's got a richness that shows the years past since Monk
passed – a growing reach of his music, but a transformation as well – one that moves past easy angular cliches, and shows a complicated understanding of compositions like "Brilliant Corners", "Reflections", "I Mean You", "Let's Cool One", "Little Rootie Tootie", and "Ask Me Now".