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Peter Bernstein: Straight, No Chorus

In devoting an entire album to Thelonious Monk’s repertoire, Peter Bernstein joins the small number of guitar players who have accepted such a challenge. Bernstein, however, hardly considers the release to be a definitive work. Achieving such a benchmark, he said, would require a lifetime of concentration on the composer’s music.

Sitting at a Starbucks blocks away from his apartment in New York’s Washington Heights neighborhood, Bernstein said he’s had little time to think about the release of Monk (Xanadu/The Orchard), which features a dozen well-known compositions. “I haven’t listened to [the album],” Bernstein admitted in early February, just days after returning from a month-long national tour with the Blue Note 7, an all-star band paying tribute to Blue Note Records’ 70th anniversary. The tour is scheduled through April.

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