The Music of Thelonius Monk featuring MICHAEL JEFRY STEVENS and JASON DECRISTOFARO Mon Jul 6 2015 at 7:30pm
“Take Two: Jazz Duets” at the White Horse Black Mountain is in its second year with considerable momentum and all new lineups. In a one-month-only departure from the usual format, which pairs Dr. Bill Bares’ piano and a guest player in a freely improvised format, Michael Jefry Stevens takes over the piano bench. He and vibraphonist Jason DeCristofaro will explore the music of iconoclastic jazz innovatorThelonius Monk.
Thelonius Sphere (as in not "square") Monk was born in Rocky Mount, North Carolina. In 1922 the family moved to New York City, where Monk, a largely self-taught pianist, began finding work as a jazz player while still in his teens. He was at ground zero for the birth of bebop, and his idiosyncratic style, full of angularity, percussive dissonance and silent spaces, had many contemporaries scratching their heads, unsure of whether he was a fool or a genius. As Monk himself said, “Sometimes it’s to your advantage for people to think you’re crazy”. Posterity has judged him more kindly, and many of his compositions are an indispensable part of the jazz canon. The musical pairing of Michael Jefry Stevens and Jason DeCristofaro allows two masterful players to explore the rich possibilities inherent in Monk’s output.