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Album review: 'Sphereology Volume One'


Andrés Vial

'Sphereology Volume One'


The opening track of Montreal-based pianist Andrés Vial's "Sphereology Volume One" may cause jazz listeners to do an aural double take. "Bluehawk" strongly recalls pianist Ahmad Jamal's recordings of the late-1960's, but in this case Vial's piano is matched by Peter Bernstein's guitar. Like Jamal, Vial and Bernstein nicely exploit the spaces between the notes. The spare approach works well because "Sphereology" explores of the music of Thelonious Monk, whose compositions are so brilliant, they need no embellishment to shine.

Vial covers some of Monk's most famous songs ("Think of One," "Green Chimneys," and "Ask Me Now") but he also includes less familiar tunes like "Work" and "Coming on the Hudson." While bassist Dezron Douglas and drummer Rodney Green bolster the first six tracks, bassist Martin Heslop and drummer André White take up the rhythm on the final three.