This year marked the 100th anniversary of Thelonious Monk. We want to celebrate that, and the best way to honour him properly is to invite pianist, composer and arranger Knut Kristiansen – better known as KK. Kristiansen has been working with Monk’s music since the start of the 60s. He used his confirmation money on Monk LPs and transcribed them all by hand, resulting in the publishing of a book. Since then, there have been several commissioned pieces of Monk’s work, concerts and recordings with his own quartet as well as solo assignments where he plays and explains. KK is today among Europe’s most prevalent interpreters of Monk’s music and without doubt one of his greatest fans.
The anniversary material has been arranged in the Monk tradition, with orchestration and interpretation of his demanding dexterity as a starting point, and within a more innovative framework. Kristiansen sets things up for a virtuoso ensemble performance with solo highlights based on Monk’s compositions, with their special rhythm, chord setup and treatment of dissonance.
KK has put together a tentet comprising a number of western Norway’s finest musicians as well as a powerful American artist. Drummer John Riley from New York is a regular face in the Village Vanguard house band and has played alongside some of the biggest names in jazz history. Riley has, like Kristiansen, been a longstanding educator and has among other things published a book regarded as the jazz drummer’s bible, studied by jazz musicians across the world.
Line-up: John Riley – drums; Tor Yttedal – alto/soprano saxes; Zoltan Vincze – tenor sax; Aksel Røed – baritone sax; Are Ovesen – trumpet; Sindre Dalhaug – trombone; Fred Johannessen – horn; Niklas A. Kvenild – tuba; Sigurd Ulveseth – bass; Knut Kristiansen – keyboards and arrangements
Arranged in collaboration with Den Musikalske Stamvegen (VNJS).