Trumpeter Jimmy Owens always has something wonderful going on – a hell of a great player, and one who's grabbed our ears right from the start of his career with a string of memorable recordings! Yet somehow, in these later years, he seems even more inventive than ever – willing to try new things and start new projects, at a time when so many other older players might just be content to settle into more easygoing modes. After some recent work on the music of Thad Jones and Tom McIntosh, Owens turns his talents to this hip Monk Project – a recasting of Thelonious Monk compositions in new arrangements by Jimmy – put together in ways that really sparkle with soul, and take the tunes in some great new directions – still respecting their roots, but bringing in a warmth that we really love – all a great reminder that Monk intended these tunes not as strict compositions, but as a framework
for new exploration. Of course, the group players are a big part of the sound here – and include Wycliffe Gordon on trombone, Marcus Strickland on tenor, Howard Johnson on baritone, Kenny Barron on piano, Kenny Davis on bass, and Winard Harper on drums – on titles that include "Blue Monk", "Stuffy Turkey", "Let's Cool One", "Reflections", "Brilliant Corners", and "Espistrophy".