The jazziest scene at the second night of Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Monk Festival was in the fifth floor atrium, during intermission of simultaneous concerts by pianist Danilo Perez’s trio (reprising his cd Panamonk, in the Allen Room) and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra performing members’ arrangements of Monk’s music in big band settings led by Wynton Marsalis, with featured pianist Marcus Roberts (in more formal Rose Hall).
Not that there’s anything wrong with taking the exacting, enduring music of Thelonious Monk seriously. Few American composers’ ouevre pay off close listening so well by demonstrating the fundimental complexities, puzzling paradoxes, potential alternatives and profound implications arising from jazz-related song. His songs are memorable, hummable, funny ha-ha and funny peculiar. Like Kafka or Escher or Bach, for that matter, his art has a logic of its own, though it is clearly put forth and immediately accessible.