Clarence Penn

Monk: The Lost Files

origin 82674

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MUSIC REVIEW BY Nate Chinen, New York Times

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Clarence Penn, like Antonio Sánchez, is a jazz drummer of exuberant poise, and on his own albums, he has addressed music both original and canonical. Monk: The Lost Files (Origin Records), a Thelonious Monk tribute out this week, clearly belongs to the second category. But Mr. Penn, leading a quartet with the saxophonist Chad Lefkowitz-Brown, the pianist Donald Vega and the bassist Yasushi Nakamura, takes pains to retrofit Monk's tunes with new flourishes: stutter-step accents, gospel harmonies, hip-hop swagger. He and his band can also swing with loose authority, and the lone original - "Solato's Blues," a version of which appeared on Mr. Penn's previous album - comes girded with a gruffness and angularity well suited to the muse at hand.






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