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Two Continents One Groove

The very first live album from the hands of phenomenal drummer T.S. Monk and his sextet

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The T.S. Monk Sextet’s highly anticipated live album with seven songs is characterized by the steady pulse and groove that the world has come to know and love as the “T.S. Monk Sextet Sound”.

 

T.S., also known as “Toot”, leads his sextet with an innovative and dynamic approach. Since 1992, the drummer has worked exclusively with his co-players, making the sound of the sextet incredibly tight. When they roll out their arsenal, they soar and swing, and are indeed exciting to hear. In that regard, it might be quite surprising to learn that this is T.S.’s very first live album!

 

“This is my first live recording, ever! It’s daunting and an uncertain kind of product. Most live albums aren’t that good. I’ve been lucky to always have great people working with me.”

 

The seven songs on the album are taken from two performances at two similar jazz rooms over a two-year period; three are from “Harlem’s Jazz Shrines Festival: Jazzmobile presents Minton’s Playhouse” at Ginny’s Supper Club on May 7, 2014, while others were recorded at Marians Jazzroom in Bern, Switzerland on April 24, 2016.

 

Drummer, percussionist, composer, producer and bandleader, T. S. Monk has taken his place in the pantheon of jazz royalty, to which he was born as the son of legendary jazz pianist Thelonious Monk. The two played together for five years, until the elder Monk’s retirement in 1975. The swing is DNA inherited and absorbed in this master drummer’s persona. T.S. spent the late 70’s and 80’s in various R&B groups, scoring the hits Bon Bon Vie (Gimme the Good Life) and Candidate for Love in 1980, but by the 1990’s he decided to return to his jazz roots.

 

T.S.’s sextet consists of some of the best jazz musicians in the business, each bringing something special to the table. Willie Williams on tenor saxophone is the original member of the sextet, who came up under the tutelage of Grover Washington, Jr. Additionally, we have the Chicago native, Kenny Davis on bass, who has worked with notables such as Cassandra Wilson and Kevin Eubanks, trumpeter Josh Evans, multi-reedist Patience Higgins, Dave Stryker on guitar and pianist and composer Helen Sung, the very first winner of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance.

 

Two Continents One Groove is a masterpiece, so follow him to a new promised land. As he states:

 

“If there’s one thing this album is, it’s swingin’! I hope you agree.”

T.S. Monk – drums and percussion
Helen Sung – piano
Willie Williams – tenor sax
Patience Higgins – alto sax
Josh Evans – trumpet
Kenny Davis – bass
Dave Stryker – guitar

1. Sierre
2. Brother Thelonius
3. Chessmen’s Delight
4. Seven Steps to Heaven
5. Ernie Washington
6. Nommo
7. Little Niles

“With its well chosen covers and strong member compositions, it’s a perfect blend of foundational and forward looking. Best of all, it’s great fun, with all kinds of swing and funk. Highly recommended.” – A Green Man, Whitehouse

 

“…hvis du er ute etter et konsertopptak med Monk jr. med hovedsakelig hard-bop-jazz i beste Blue Note-stil, så kan jeg mer enn gjerne anbefale denne utgivelsen. Det swinger godt av et velspillende «hold» som, tydeligvis, har studert sine forgjengere.” – Salt Peanuts*, Granlie

 

“Og en ting er, at musikken virkelig swinger, noget andet er, at udførelsen emmer af dedikation og passion.” – **** – ivanrod.dk, Rod

 

“I’m sure you (…) will notice that you haven’t listened to such a delightful, enthusiastic concert recording in a long time.” – Dark Blue Notes, Yalcin

 

“Like a fine wine kept in the cellars until the time is right for a precious sip Two Continents One Groove is swinging, grooving, jostling, saluting, testifying and a whole lot more…” – **** – Marlbank, Stephen

 

“The arrangements are inspired, the ambience is perfectly captured and Toot and Co. undoubtedly prove they put the groove into the title of this hard-swinging classic.” – Youll, JazzJournal

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