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'Palo Alto' cleanly captures how one of Thelonious Monk's longer standing groups operated / JazzWord

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Jazz Word's - Ken Waxman writes.....Rather than outtakes, Palo Alto is a hitherto unknown recording of an equally obscure concert Monk and his quartet performed one afternoon in 1968 at a Palo Alto high school. Booked by an enterprising student and taped by a staff member, the fidelity isn't up to studio standards. But it cleanly captures how the pianist and one of his longer standing groups with tenor saxophonist Charlie Rouse, bassist Larry Gales and drummer Ben Riley operated. Although by this time Monk's repertoire had pretty much solidified into interpretations of the unique tunes he had created over the years, plus a couple of quirky asides, there are still surprises. Besides the angular piano thrusts and vibrating theme variations Monk and Rouse bring to the program, the bassist and drummer appear particularly energized. Dunlop's slapping thumps and duple rhythms animate the faster tracks, and during his break on "Well, You Needn't" his clattering attains the snap crackle of a flashier drummer like Roy Haynes.

READ Ken Waxman's FULL REVIEW