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  • Green Chimneys: The Music of Thelonious Monk
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Green Chimneys: The Music of Thelonious Monk Import

14 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Import, May 18, 1999
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

On this recording, Andy Summers, formerly of the pop group the Police, translates the angular and quirky compositions of jazz pioneer Thelonious Sphere Monk into a wide variety of musical settings. Buoyed by drummers Peter Erskine and Bernie Dresel, electric-acoustic bassist Dave Carpenter, and organist Joey de Francescos, Summers's spare, ghostly guitar--a delicious combination of Jim Hall's timbre and Pat Martino's fluency--swings in a straight-ahead take on the title track, the ballad "Ugly Beauty," and "Monk's Dream"--with Summers's sly "Jeepers Creepers" quote. Erskine lays down a danceable New Orleans second-line beat on "Hackensack," tinged by the tenor sax-trumpet frontline of Steve Tavaglione and Walt Fowler, and "Bemsha Swing" moves to an Afro-Caribbean beat. Summers's country twang imbues the strip tease-tempoed "Brilliant Corners" and "Think of One," which rings with de Francesco's churchy organ solo; "Shuffle Boil" is recast in "Bitches Brew" fashion with Fowler's Milesian musings; and "Light Blue" and "Rhythm-A-Ning" melds Summers's Appalachian banjo with Tavaglione's oblique clarinet in an avant-garde landscape. Summers and company stick to the lullaby melody of "Boo Boo's Birthday," and Summers's intro sets up the moody cabaret-style vocal by fellow Policeman Sting on "'Round Midnight." "Ruby My Dear" highlights the guitarist in a folksy, solo spotlight and closes this well-traveled tribute. --Eugene Holley Jr.

Review

Andy Summers' latest jazz album, Green Chimneys, finds the ex-Police guitarist paying tribute to one of his idols, Thelonious Monk. "I've loved Monk since I was a teenager," Summers says. "When somebody gave me Monk at Town Hall, it really turned me around. Monk transcends any obvious generic descriptions. It's Monk. It's on its own. You can say it's jazz, but the best of Monk is Monk." Green Chimneys features Monk classics such as "Think of One," "Brilliant Corners," and "Evidence." It also finds Summers teaming up with Sting again for a vocal take of "'Round Midnight."

--- JAZZIZ Magazine Copyright © 2000, Milor Entertainment, Inc. -- From Jazziz


1. Green Chimneys
2. Hackensack
3. Brilliant Corners
4. Monk's Dream
5. 'Round Midnight
6. Bemsha Swing
7. Shuffle Boil
8. Boo Boo's Birthday
9. Evidence
10. Ugly Beauty
11. Think Of One
12. Light Blue/Rhythm-A-Ning
13. Ruby My Dear

Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 18, 1999)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Rca Records/Sbme
  • ASIN: B00000IOPU
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #74,616 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 17, 2001
Format: Audio CD
I loved The Police but I have to admit I was a little skeptical of Andy Summers tackling Monk since he isn't from a true jazz guitar background. But I have to say that overall he did a pretty good job. The sound reminds me of Bill Frisell and although Summers doesn't really knock me out on his soloing his tonal pallette is pleasant and his style is suitable to Monk's music. If you are new to jazz guitar I would check out guys like Wes Montgomery, Tal Farlow, and Mark Elf for a more mainstream look at jazz guitar; or something a little more rock-edged also there's John Scofield & Mike Stern & Paul Bollenback.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 21, 1999
Format: Audio CD
'Green Chimneys' has a different feel than some of Mr. Summers' other works. I have been a fan of his open, at-times minimalist guitar since his days with the Police. 'Green Chimneys' once again showcases his ability to transcend the ordinary, the hackneyed in popular music and in jazz. This new album goes places where his most recent solo works ('The Last Dance of Mr. X' and 'Synesthesia', also a great albums) do not venture; 'Chimneys' is more straight-ahead jazz, marinated in the flavors of Thelonius Monk and Mr. Summers. Highlighted tracks include "Shuffle Boil" and "'Round Midnight", featuring vocals by Sting. The line-up on this album is superb.
If you enjoy Monk, you'll enjoy this album. If you enjoy Andy Summers, you'll enjoy this album. If you like the Police, you'll like it too. But if you're looking for the Police, realize that what you'll be getting is not the Police, but the product of a musician who only gave us a glimpse of what he was capable of when he played with Stewart Copeland and Sting. He has evolved.
Well done.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Dave Stagner on January 30, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Not a great jazz album, but a good one. Andy Summers doesn't have the melodic brilliance of a more hardcore jazz guitarist (even though it's all he's done for the last several years). What he DOES have is an ear for pleasing pop production and arrangement. The recording and production quality is far more polished than usual for a jazz album, and the arrangements are creative. From a pure production point, it'd be good smooth jazz. But Monk's tunes are too jagged for smooth jazz, the sometimes aggressive arrangements are too rocking for straight-ahead, and the swing too overtly jazzy for the rock fans. So it's an album that fails to please three different markets.
Still, it's a good effort, with particularly nice performances by some of the sidemen (Peter Erskine on drums). But when it gets down to it, if i want Summers i'll put on a Police record, and if i want Monk i'll put on a Monk record. Nobody but nobody tops the master!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 11, 1999
Format: Audio CD
when i listen to music, it's either soundgarden, or pearl jam. however, when i visited barnes and nobles the other day, i came across an album done by andy summers entitled "green chimneys". i was a fan of andy's when he was with the police, so decided to sample this album. "green chimneys" is a great album. tracks 2, 5, 6, 7, 9, and 10 are great medleys that stay in your head. summers has really evolved into a jazz musician. the horn line featured in this album are impressive, while summers' guitar play is smooth and tranquile.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By altagedaliah on October 19, 2010
Format: Audio CD
Who knew? Andy Summers is a jazzer, a bebopper, a Monk admirer?

These songs are the greatest tunes from a master of bop.

I can find no flaws in the interpretations. At times the tunes swing as in Bemsha.
Boo-boo's birthday has guitar sound and style of Steve Khan, whom I love.
Brilliant Corners is experimental tango style with vast understatement.
Evidence is brilliant in that the timing is extremely difficult to play with an ensemble. The flow and swing later are wonderful. Not unlike how Sco would play the solo either (many choruses performed flawlessly by Msr. Summers). What a great arrangement (this tune is worth the price of the album).
Green Chimney is mellow, simple and intriguing. Tune is as simple as Miles in 1984 playing baby theme. The solo swings however with only bass and drums as accompaniment.
Hackensack with horns behind and out front is one of those hummable bop tunes that you will wake up singing. Strutting through the changes in a Scofield crazy way, Andy goes to straight swing style. Trumpet solo follows in a nowhere beat until the 60s Jimmy Smith style organ solo swings with delight all over the keyboard. Sing this tune regularly and your joy will overflow into the universe and make all happy somehow.
Monk's Dream flows like fine wine. Scatting along the guitar sounds growl and snarl. Then the solo smoothly descends in an intuitive lull and swing to and fro.
Round Midnight finds Sting singing with Andy in mostly a duo until bass and traps ballad this classic quite nicely.
Ruby My Dear is an acoustic solo that if you close your eyes you could hear Larry Coryell playing at his best (but alas it is Andy again).
Read more ›
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By kxts@texas.net on July 11, 1999
Format: Audio CD
when i listen to music, it's either soundgarden, or pearl jam. however, when i visited barnes and nobles the other day, i came across an album done by andy summers entitled "green chimneys". i was a fan of andy's when he was with the police, so decided to sample this album. "green chimneys" is a great album. tracks 2, 5, 6, 7, 9, and 10 are great medleys that stay in your head. summers has really evolved into a jazz musician. the horn line featured in this album are impressive, while summers' guitar play is smooth and tranquile.
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