Recorded live at Birdland, NY, Larry Gales and company continue the legacy of Thelonious Monk. Gales is a man who knew every nuance of Monk's musical thought processes from having worked with the master for five years (1964-69). For three years until '67, the drummer beside him was Ben Riley. Gales and Riley were like Monk's heartbeat and their reunion for this set ensures the authenticity of the band's base for the enterprise at hand. Mention must be made of the contributions of brassman Claudio Roditi and trombonist Steve Turre, who reveal themselves to be sensitive interpreters of Monk. Saxophonist Junior Cook slips easily into the role made his own by Charlie Rouse in the classic Monk Quartets.
However, it is the hugely gifted pianist Benny Green who steals the show.