My newest project Free-Bop Quartet features Noah Bernstein-Hanley on alto sax, Jim Prescott on upright bass, Mark Griffith on drums, and myself on guitar. I’ve spent the better part of October 2010 transcribing Monk and Ornette tunes for the band, and after a couple of rehearsals we are ready for our first gig! The concept originated with my recent obsession with the music of Ornette Coleman. Interestingly enough the path that led me to Ornette’s music was my nearly life-long obsession with the music of Pat Metheny. — I highly recommend 3 recordings that highlight PM’s association with Ornette and his music: 80/81 (1980), Rejoicing (1983), and Song X (1985) —
With Free-Bop I wanted to highlight the connection between the linear compositions of the be-bop era and many of Ornette Coleman’s “free-jazz” compositions. This first gig we are playing a host of Monk tunes, in addition to some Coleman classics. We are calling this gig: Free-Bop Quartet Presents: Ornamental Monk. Eventually we will delve into the music of Parker, and others. If anything, it a great challenge to perform these tunes (I’m getting my rear-end kicked learning this stuff!!).
Here’s a taste: