Jazz photographer Daniel Sheehan at the opening on the 2014 Earshot Jazz festival

Last Friday evening, the 2014 Earshot Jazz Festival began with a celebration of the absolutely distinctive master of jazz life, Thelonious Sphere Monk. On 10/10, which would have been Monk’s 97th birthday, Earshot took festivities to Town Hall for a colossal Thelonious Monk tribute that was all about 10. The party included one solo Monk composition each from 10 great Seattle pianists. Coming from various stylistic backgrounds, and expressing Monk’s profound influence on their own jazz continuum, this lineup of pianists would be impressive in any city in the world: Marc Seales, Dawn Clement, Dave Peck, Sumi Tonooka, Overton Berry, Marius “Butch” Nordal, Darrius Willrich, Aaron Otheim, Wayne Horvitz and Tim Kennedy.

The genesis for this creative project is the Royal Room’s Piano Starts Here series, which looks to “highlight the work of the most prolific and talented pianists to have ever tackled the instrument.” In the series, each artist selects their own piece, without regard to possible duplications, assuming that no two pieces could be the same. Tonight’s piano performances offer ten unique takes on Monk’s idiosyncratic contributions to jazz.

Balancing the stage tonight is a remarkable 10-tet assembled by Wayne Horvitz for this romp through straight transcriptions and improvisations on the landmark 1959 album The Thelonious Monk Orchestra at Town Hall, commonly known at Monk at Town Hall. Horvitz conducts an amazing 10-tet that stays true to the spirit, the title, and the unusual instrumentation of the original performance. The band of Seattle jazz luminaries includes Greg Sinibaldi, Mark Taylor, and Skerik on saxophones; Al Keith on trumpet, and Christian Pincock on trombone, along with Tom Varner on French horn, and Julio Cruz on tuba. Driving the rhythm section are bassist Evan Flory-Barnes, pianist Ryan Burns, and drummer Ted Poor.

I will try and catch up with my coverage of the festival in pictures.  Here is a link to the 2014 Earshot Jazz Festival Schedule

Jazz photographer Daniel Sheehan at the opening on the 2014 Earshot Jazz festival

Jazz photographer Daniel Sheehan at the opening on the 2014 Earshot Jazz festival

Jazz photographer Daniel Sheehan at the opening on the 2014 Earshot Jazz festival

Jazz photographer Daniel Sheehan at the opening on the 2014 Earshot Jazz festival

Jazz photographer Daniel Sheehan at the opening on the 2014 Earshot Jazz festival

Jazz photographer Daniel Sheehan at the opening on the 2014 Earshot Jazz festival

Jazz photographer Daniel Sheehan at the opening on the 2014 Earshot Jazz festival

Jazz photographer Daniel Sheehan at the opening on the 2014 Earshot Jazz festival

Jazz photographer Daniel Sheehan at the opening on the 2014 Earshot Jazz festival

Jazz photographer Daniel Sheehan at the opening on the 2014 Earshot Jazz festival

Jazz photographer Daniel Sheehan at the opening on the 2014 Earshot Jazz festival

 

 

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