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Dorsey Skaff Clark | Monk Time

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Jazz: Mainstream Jazz Jazz: Contemporary Jazz Moods: Instrumental
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Monk Time

by Dorsey Skaff Clark

Leon Lee Dorsey explores the Music of Thelonious Monk on "MonkTime. Recording features Eight Monk Compositions, performed by his DSC Trio. Featuring guitarist Greg Skaff and drummer Mike Clark.
Genre: Jazz: Mainstream Jazz
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  Song Share Time Download
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1. Well You Needn't
4:48 $0.99
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2. Monk's Dream
6:14 $0.99
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3. Monk's Mood
5:16 $0.99
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4. Blue Monk
5:49 $0.99
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5. Little Rootie Tootie
5:05 $0.99
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6. Ugly Beauty
3:58 $0.99
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7. We See
5:11 $0.99
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8. Epistrophy
5:56 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Twenty years after the release of his last album, bassist Leon Lee Dorsey reassumes the mantle of a recording artist in his own right with the September 13 release of MonkTime (Jazz Avenue 1 Records). The debut of Dorsey's DSC Band, which also includes guitarist Greg Skaff and celebrated drummer Mike Clark, features the trio applying their potent chemistry to eight compositions by jazz titan Thelonious Monk.

While Dorsey is himself a talented, accomplished composer and arranger, he brings a minimal, spacious treatment to bear on MonkTime -- preferring to let the tunes speak for themselves. "We wanted to retain the original character of Monk's music," Dorsey says. "We weren't looking to reinvent the wheel on masterpieces. We wanted to keep the essence of the songs, that timeless commonality they have, while blending in our own spices and flavors."

Those spices and flavors are simultaneously bold and subtle: a paradox that Monk would surely have appreciated. Skaff, as the DSC Band's principal soloist, favors lean single-note lines that tend toward the low and middle registers (as on "Blue Monk"), imbuing them with a distinctive round, dark tone. It gives extra oomph to the chords and high crescendos he does employ in places like "Little Rootie Tootie." Clark reins in his famously brawny chops; he keeps the swing supple and assured but eschews pyrotechnics, even in his solos on "Monk's Dream" and "Epistrophy."

Dorsey, meantime, sets the pace. Whether it comes through his beautiful reading of the melody on "Monk's Mood" or the gentle pulse and solo he lends to "Ugly Beauty," the bassist's command of both the repertoire and ensemble avoids flash, yet is nevertheless unmistakable.

Dorsey keeps it tight on MonkTime; only one of the eight tunes strays beyond to the six-minute mark, and then just barely. "We took a page out of the vinyl era in keeping the songs at a manageable length," he says. It brings a sense of clarity and focus to the performances, spotlighting the trio's interplay as much as the individual improvisations.


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