About the album
Thelonious Monk was an American and American jazz players ranked among the best and best-known of their era. But several generations later, European musicians have also made a serious mark in
the field of jazz. Some of them, including several Dutch players, are every bit as good as their American counterparts. Monk was a unique individual with such a personal approach to music, for many years it seemed impossible to be influenced by his playing without imitating him outright. As you will hear, the trio on this record make no attempt to imitate.
The three Dutch musicians on this CD show that they have a thorough command of the jazz idiom, and mastery of the skills required. Nowadays, a lot of music gets labeled as jazz, but the music made by this drumless trio is clearly based on the jazz mainstream, whether they’re playing Debussy, Gershwin or familiar standards.
The trio has a natural sense of swing, and this program gives GK&I plenty of room to show off their virtuosity and improvisational skills. George Gershwin wrote countless songs that have been performed by jazz musicians and are still part of the standard repertoire, including “Summertime,” “The Man I Love” and “Embraceable You.” His works also include serious classical pieces such as Piano Concerto in F and the piano Preludes. Gershwin wanted to write 24 preludes, like Chopin and Bach (in The Well-Tempered Klavier), twelve in minor and twelve in major keys. However, he only managed to compose about nine. Rob van Bavel took the three best known Preludes as a basis for his arrangements and combined these with fragments from the standards mentioned above. Claude Debussy was an important exponent of impressionism (though it appears that he detested being categorized so). He was a huge inspiration to jazz pianist Bill Evans. Several pieces from Children’s Corner, an Arabesque, and fragments from the Estampes/Preludes, serve as the basis for two arrangements. Another track is based on Arabesque no.1. “Trilogy” (the self-portrait The Ghost, The King And I) is a triptych with a recurring main theme—a leitmotif if you will. It was written by Rob van Bavel, who also composed “G String.” The only standard on this album is Victor Young’s famous “My Foolish Heart,” with an intro based on Debussy’s Pagodes.