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Pianist explores Thelonious Monk's unique contributions

1 Apr 2013 2:04 PM
Pianist explores Thelonious Monk's unique contributions

Despite all of his contributions to jazz performance and song craft, legendary pianist Thelonious Monk remains a mystery to many modern music fans. A new show hopes to change that, as renowned jazz performer Eric Reed will take guests on a tour of some of Monk's most impressive and groundbreaking work. The show, "Who is Thelonious Monk?" will be held at the Broad Stage on May 4.

Thelonious Monk's name may not be uttered in the same breath as Miles Davis', John Coltrane's or Louis Armstrong's, but true jazz fans understand the enormous influence Monk exerted on the art form. Only Duke Ellington penned more jazz standards than Monk, which is especially impressive considering that Ellington composed more than a thousand songs - Monk wrote just over 70. 

Few people are in a better position to explore the legacy of Monk than Eric Reed. The Philadelphia-born musician has been playing jazz piano since he was two and has long held a particular affinity for Monk's percussive, relentlessly boundary-pushing style. In the upcoming performance, Reed will focus on his idol's musical progression and idiosyncratic approach to the art. Buttressing his performance with live renditions and discussions of jazz theory, Reed hopes to open audience members' eyes and ears to Monk's unique contributions. 

At a recent concert, Reed told the audience that he focuses mainly on Monk's music because it allows listeners "to travel way out there, if you're willing to go where it can take you," according to the Chicago Tribune. As a deft interpreter of Monk's notoriously difficult repertoire, Reed is sure to provide an exciting tour of the late musician's work. Although owners of Los Angeles real estate have many musical options available to them on any given night, few are likely to be as insightful and compelling as this one-of-a-kind event.