I bought a record this week-end, Thelonica
, by the
pianist Tommy Flanagan. It's a homage to Thelonious Monk, one of the greatest
pianists and composers of the XXth century -- all compositions but the last are
Monk's. Tommy Flanagan is one of those underrated bebop pianists -- in spite of
his participation in historical records (Saxophone Colossus
, by Sonny
Rollins, or Giant Steps
, by John Coltrane, in some way the nec plus
of bebop), or his work with Ella Fitzgerald or Tony Bennett. I'm
not usually writing about jazz records, but this one has not only a very high
musical level, it has also been made with a unusual level of love, respect and
humility, making it probably the most touching musical homage I've ever heard.
It's very rare to find some music that can express such complex feelings with
so much delicacy and intensity. For example, on Reflections
Flanagan actually sounds like Monk during the first few bars. Shades of Monk's
are also evocated during Flanagan's improvisation on
-- not like an imitation, or a pastiche, but much more like a
remembrance of a friend that finally became a part of yourself. This tour de
can only be achieved with lot of work, of talent and of empathy.
The only other example of that kind of acknowledged musical mimicry I can think
about is a version of Duke Ellington's Azure
recorded by Cecil Taylor,
another underrated pianist, in the late fifties.
Rating : a huge number of stars. Highly recommended to anyone is familiar
with the history of jazz.
Oh, and I also bought the 6th season of BtVS, and I watched the famous
Once more, with feeling, that I hadn't seen before. -- Did you notice how
Nicholas Brendon looks like Jerry Lewis when he dances ?
Or is it just me ?