Miles Okazaki

Miles Okazaki

© Dimitri Louis

Concert

Miles Okazaki

Work (Music by Thelonious Monk)

With “Work”, guitarist Miles Okazaki celebrates the genius of pianist Thelonious Monk, while at the same time revealing a vision all of his own – distinctively original and engaging.

Miles Okazaki: Work (Music by Thelonious Monk)

German premiere

Over the last couple of decades, several artists have tackled the complete songbook of Thelonious Monk, including pianist Alexander von Schlippenbach, who launched the unforgettable “Monk’s Casino” project at the Jazzfest Berlin in 2002, and fellow pianist Frank Kimbrough, who led a quintet through the oeuvre on last year’s “Monk’s Dream”. New York guitarist Miles Okazaki, a trusted collaborator of Steve Coleman and Dan Weiss and a seasoned bandleader himself, upped the game last year with “Work”, a remarkable 6-CD set that tackled all 70 of Monk’s tunes. Interpreting Monk’s music has been standard practice in jazz for years, but putting such a distinctive spin on that repertoire, for guitar, no less, while remaining true to its melodic and harmonic identity is no small achievement. He produced nearly five hours of dazzling music, ingeniously modulating timbre and rhythmic thrust through richly varied arrangements that simultaneously celebrate the pianist’s genius while sharing a vision of his own that’s unmistakably original and enticing.

Miles Okazaki (USA) German premiere
Work (Music by Thelonious Monk)

Miles Okazaki guitar solo