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Eric Reed’s third album exploring the Thelonious Monk songbook captures the original’s stark angular beauty with a hard-swinging quartet and a personal touch.

The ex-Wynton Marsalis pianist has a florid technique, angles of his own invention and a percussive clout that impressively avoids caricature.

Each composition is recast – “Thelonious” close to abstraction, “Pannonica” is gently Latin – but, with saxophonist Seamus Blake’s soft furry tone, Ben Williams’s superb walking bass and drummer Gregory Hutchinson’s occasional wayward thumps, Monk’s rigour and mischief remain firmly in sight.

Eric Reed

The Adventurous Monk

(Savant)

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