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Joshua Breakstone: Let’s Call This Monk

Supported by drummer Mickey Roker and bassist Dennis Irwin, guitarist Breakstone capably salutes the great Thelonious Monk this time out, although “no attempt has been made to mimic Monk’s own playing.” Overall, Breakstone improvises fluently, shaping smoothly arching contours on tunes like “Let’s Call This,” “Work,” “We See,” and “Monk’s Dream;” however, after a while his relatively conservative phrasing takes on a certain predictability, especially when the same medium swing tempo crops up again and again (then there’s the guitar’s sound, which lacks presence and clarity). Be that as it may, Breakstone and company generate considerable energy on “I Mean You,” “Brilliant Corners,” with its unorthodox chord progression, and “Humph,” an obscure rhythm changes tune.

Originally Published