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Wednesday, July 7, 1999

Review - Green Chimneys

Artist: Andy Summers

Posted on Wed, Jul 7, 1999 at 4:00 AM

Green Chimneys
Label: BMG/RCA Victor
Media: CD
Format: Album
WorkNameSort: Green Chimneys

Jazz pianist Thelonious Monk deserves credit for -- if nothing else -- his ability to inspire a diverse range of musicians with his idiosyncratic tunes, marked by harmonic brilliance, twisted humor and, sometimes, melancholy. Monk tributes have surfaced regularly since his death in 1982, and now former Police guitarist Andy Summers -- who has exercised his jazz jones since the band's breakup -- has taken on the music of the man once dubbed the high priest of bebop.

From the bouncy title track to closing ballad "Ruby, My Dear," "Green Chimneys" is jam-band Monk: a cross between Charlie Hunter and Medeski, Martin & Wood, emphasizing heavy grooves and spacy sections. Summers has sensibly enlisted Dave Carpenter on bass and former Weather Report drummer Peter Erskine. The trio mesh famously with young B3 organ wizard Joey DeFrancesco on "Hacken-sack," as Hank Roberts' cello provides creative collisions; a grinding "Brilliant Corners"; a distortion-laced "Shuffle Boil"; and a syncopated "Evidence." Former Police chief Sting even drops by for a haunting "'Round Midnight."

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