Chuck Marohnic Trio with John Stowell: White Men Can't Monk
Given the title of this album, a play on the movie name White Men Can't Jump one might anticipate that this album is out to disprove that contention. It turns out this is not entirely the case. While there are a couple of tunes which have that unique Monk impressionist but quirky rhythm to them, there are no Monk compositions on the agenda and most of the music, while progressive, does not recreate Monk's style. There is a modern tinge to the way Marohnic approaches the music that comes through on such tunes as "Celeste" where the trio combines with John Stowell's guitar to create the sound of that small upright piano. It should be noted that Thelonious Monk used a celeste for Pannonica on his seminal album Brilliant Corners. Progressive music making is also the style of choice on the Marohnic original "Some of These Things", a nine minute musical discussion among each instrument of the trio with Dwight Kilian's bass taking solo honors on this tune that swings and, at times, recalls "All the Things You Are". Marohnic, who likes to play lots of notes, takes the lead on Cole Porter's "Dream Dancing", with Stowell providing interesting counterpoint and sounding here like Monk might have if he played the guitar. The pianist and the guitarist show that they have a pensive side as well on another Marohnic original "Unformed People" where his piano comes closest to resembling Monk's unique style. But at other times, such as on "Nobody Else But Me", the trio more closely aligns itself with the Bill Evans trios of the past.
The musical marriage of these two artists, aided and abetted by the members of the trio and in a live setting, has produced an album of abiding interest and is recommended. Visit each artist's web site at www.chuckmarohnic.com and www.cyboard.com/JohnStowell, respectively.
Track Listing: Nardis; Dreamsville; Unformed People; Some of These Things; Nobody Else But Me; Dream Dancing; Peau Douce; Celeste
Personnel: Chuck Marohnic - Piano; John Stowell - Guitar; Dwight Kilian - Bass; Dom Moio - Drums