horizontal line

One of Europe’s foremost free improvisers, Alexander von Schlippenbach is also a longtime admirer of Thelonious Monk. He’s previously recorded a trio album of Monk tunes (Light Blue) and, in 2003/04, led a quintet through colourful, swashbuckling versions of Monk’s complete works, captured live on the three-CD set Monk’s Casino. Whereas the quintet’s primary goal was to present a true(ish) account of Monk’s compositions, this solo follow-up is more about Schlippenbach’s own improvisational probing, both in selected Monk pieces and in the brief interludes he’s placed between them. Titles such as Work and Introspection (which he plays twice) signal the tone – there’s little exuberance here; it’s a ruminative, rather toilsome approach, which bypasses the slippery wit and edgy tenderness of Monk’s originals and offers instead only abstruse deliberation. A disappointment.

GRAHAM LOCK Read the full review on Agora Classica

   Read full review   

To continue reading, please upgrade to a premium account. You will have immediate full access.

Read more classical music reviews online here:

Piano International, 2013 - ©Rhinegold Publishing