Today marks the release of our record, Ugly Beauty. The record is available for digital download via Bandcamp HERE. Feel free to listen; better yet, purchase the 14 track record and help support the music. We put a lotta love into this thing…
Releasing a record is supposed to be a time to celebrate the completion of a creative product, a time to share. We looked forward to playing this music live in front of people. Who knew when we recorded this last November, that so much in America and the world would unravel in the meantime. Now, by simply arriving at this time, this record takes on different and additional meaning.
This record is comprised entirely of the music of our hero, Thelonious Monk. An African American pianist and composer, he is considered by many to be one of the most important and prolific contributors in jazz. His unique gift of non-traditional and sometimes “off-kilter” pianistic and composition styles was truly singular and set jazz in a startling direction, making different musical trajectories possible. There would be no jazz without the African American experience, and Monk blasted it into his own idiosyncratic atmosphere.
This record represents our take on Monk’s music. By design, is not “straight-ahead”; most of what is here is no longer “jazz”. We’ve put his music through our own filters, just as he took traditional styles and crafted them into his own music. We have punk, disco, noise, rock, ambient and yes, ok, maybe a little jazz. So goes the tradition of absorbing the past and pressing it forward, sometimes changed into completely different and unrecognizable forms.
Black lives matter. They are integral to the American experience, from which we all draw. Without them, none of this would be even imaginable. In the end, this album rests on Monk’s shoulders. Without him, we wouldn’t be here.
Thank you– we appreciate your support!
~ Andrew, Jef & Jared