Little Rootie Tootie – 2013

John Beasley’s Monk’estra


A fresh rendition of a Thelonious Monk gem

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Pianist-arranger John Beasley, who always seems to be involved in a half dozen projects at once, founded his 15-piece orchestra MONK’estra in 2013.

While the band’s repertoire is dominated by Thelonious Monk compositions, Beasley’s arrangements give the songs fresh life with plenty of unexpected surprises along the way.

Their 2013 version of “Little Rootie Tootie” has the song taken at a slightly than slower than usual tempo, featuring a catchy bass line by Rickey Minor that propels the band along with fine trombone and alto solos.

Thelonious Monk would have enjoyed the fact that, while they played his song correctly, John Beasley arrangement is far from a predictable copy of Monk’s music.

-Scott Yanow


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