Baritone Monk on JazzWeek Top 100 Albums of 2013

Claire_Daly-(w3)We couldn’t be prouder! The Claire Daly Quartet’s album Baritone Monk made JazzWeek’s Chart of the 100 Top Albums of 2013. This is a big deal in the jazz world. The Quartet is keeping company with Diego Rivera, Chick Corea, Kenny Barron, Kevin Eubanks and Christian McBride, amongst others. No one can express the joy of this album’s success better than Claire Daly herself:

“First of all, just making this CD was so much fun, that the fact it spent 26 weeks on the JazzWeek chart (nine weeks in the top 10 slots!) was icing on the cake. Really, really, good icing. That it is in the Top 100 albums of 2013 makes it even more delicious, if that’s possible! That 100% of the proceeds go to the Monk Institute for Jazz Education makes it OFF THE HOOK exciting. This project is the highlight of my musical life so far. Thank you, North Coast Brewing Company!”

The album was produced by North Coast Brewing’s Vice President of Sales and Distribution, Doug Moody and entirely underwritten by North Coast Brewing to benefit the Monk Institute’s international jazz education programs. Released in October of 2012, the album features four superbly talented jazz artists: Claire Daly on baritone sax, flute and vocals, Steve Hudson on piano, Peter Grant on drums and Mary Ann McSweeney on bass.

Claire-Daly-Quartet-at-Recording-Studio-(w)

Post recording session photo from L to R – Charlie Kramsky (Assistant Recording Engineer), Jim Anderson (Grammy Winning Recording Engineer), Claire, Steve, Peter, Doug & MaryAnn at Avatar Studios in NYC – Photo by Deborah Moody

If you already bought the CD for $15 dollars, you deserve some kudos. You’ve treated yourself to a sophisticated, nuanced and consummate interpretation of Monk’s music. You’ve acknowledged four outstanding jazz artists deserving of more widespread recognition. You’ve supported the Monk Institute jazz education programs. That’s a lot for $15.

Robin D. G. Kelley, author of Thelonious Monk: The Life and Times of an American Original, wrote discerning liner notes for Baritone Monk. Did he anticipate the rousing success of the album? “Monk’s music is notoriously difficult, though you wouldn’t know it from this recording. Daly’s superb quartet combines a mastery of Monk’s less-recorded repertoire with the casual joy of a jam session.” He goes on to talk about each of the musicians: “Pianist Steve Hudson avoids Monkish cliche, displaying his own unique style to great effect. Bassist Mary Ann McSweeney plays with a profound sense of melody, swing, and harmonic imagination…Peter Grant…gives the band its driving pulse but with a subtlety that allows all voices to be heard (and) Claire Daly, whose breadth of styles, enormous tone, and distinctive phrasing place her among the very best of contemporary baritone players.”

If you haven’t bought the album but want to get in on the action, click here.

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