Trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith
never fails to blow us away – and even though he's captured our ear with recent higher-concept projects or other group work, he sounds equally mindblowing here in a completely solo setting! As you'd guess from the title, the set's based around the musical vision of Thelonious Monk – territory not often explored on solo trumpet, and handled beautifully here by Smith
– both on his long extrapolations based on Monk's compositions, and on his own tunes dedicated to Monk – which are these bold, brilliant paintings in sound that the legendary pianist would have been proud to hear. We're not sure what's in the water over at Smith
's house, but he's really had this amazing blossom of fresh creativity in recent years – as you'll hear on his compositions here, entitled "Monk & His Five Point Ring At The Five Spot Cafe", "Monk & Bud Powell At Shea Stadium", and "Adagio Monkishness – A Cinematic Vision Of Monk Playing Solo" – alongside versions of Monk tunes that include "Ruby My Dear", "Reflections", "Round Midnight", and "Crepuscule With Nellie".