Harry McDoggus
July 6, 2019
Fearless Distler Plays Fearless Monk

Fearless Monk is an album completely dedicated to compositions of the great jazz icon Thelonious Monk. The artist is pianist Jed Distler, whose insights as classical music critic have been held in high regard by both musicians and fellow writers for decades. A multi-dimensional musical polymath of the first order, Mr. Distler draws inspiration on this album not only from the estimable Mr. Monk but from influences as disparate as Bernard Herrmann, Vincent Youmans, Igor Stravinsky and Burt Bacharach. On Fearless Monk Mr. Distler takes the listener on a journey at once reverential, impressionistic and even whimsical. He uses Thelonious Monk's music as Square One and provides the listener with a virtual Rubik's Cube of suggested associations, an array so diverse as to be disorienting in the most pleasant way. "Monk's combination of quirky fantasy and ironclad logic has always intrigued and attracted me, " says Mr. Distler, "yet also spurs my own creativity. It's as if Monk were throwing curve balls at me from all directions, and I toss them back, trying to surprise Mr. Monk in return. Does he know that he's helping me write my own pianistic autobiography?"

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