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Eric Reed Brings His UNMONK Quintet to Dizzy's Club "Coca-Cola", with Grassella Oliphant Quintet in After Hours
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Eric Reed Brings His UNMONK Quintet to Dizzy's Club "Coca-Cola", with Grassella Oliphant Quintet in After Hours

- Jazz and Cabaret Corner

Eric Reed UNMONK Quintet

Presents Music by
Thelonius Monk
(Monk Bio)

Eric Reed on Piano
Seamus Blake on Tenor Sax
Etienne Charles on Trumpet
Matt Clohesy on Bass
Kevin Kanner on Drums

After Hours Set

Grassella Oliphant Quintet

Grassella Oliphant on Drums
Carlos Abadie on Trumpet
Willie Williams on Tenor Sax
Brandon McCune on Piano
Tom DiCarlo on Bass

Frederick P. Rose Hall
Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola
Broadway at 60th Street
(Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola Website)
Todd Barkan, Programming Director
Scott Thompson, Press

Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
May 30, 2012

Eric Reed, renowned interpreter of the music of Thelonius Monk, brought his quintet, called UNMONK, perhaps to evoke the notion of a creative take on all that is Monk. Dizzy’s was packed for this second set, and. Reed’s fans were enraptured. He arrived with Seamus Blake on tenor sax, Etienne Charles on trumpet, Matt Clohesy on bass, and Kevin Kanner on drums. The music opened with a blast of Blake’s sax, with Reed jiving and bouncing, while mastering his keyboard. Reed exudes an exciting dynamic, and he quickly brought in Kanner’s drums and Clohesy’s bass. The percussive result was scintillating, and the rhythm was swing. Kanner took a drum riff, before Reed, Blake, and Charles combined piano and brass for a photo finish to Monk’s “Green Chimneys”. “Monk Beurre Rouge” was next, introduced by Reed with an impeccable French accent, and we were transported to bluesy New Orleans. Reed was virtuosic, vivacious, and vigorous, while drums and bass combined for an elegant mood. A Reed ballad followed, poignant and mellow, and the Club stood still. The brass duo repeated four single notes, time and again, and the set closed in stylized success.

Tonight’s After Hours set had a hard act to follow, and it was so sensational, thanks to Todd Barkan’s ingenious programming, that almost everyone stayed on. Drummer, Grassella Oliphant brought his own quintet, visually echoing piano (Brandon McCune), drums, trumpet (Carlos Abadie), tenor sax (Willie Williams), and bass (Tom DiCarlo), but the similarity ended there. Oliphant led from the drums, and he’s quite a seasoned pro. The music was diffuse and propulsive, and I immediately thought this is a “sleeper” of a band. Williams performed a sharp, searing solo riff that held onto its melody, while transporting us to jazz heaven. Mid-set, Oliphant took out his brushes, and sax, piano and bass mesmerized the weekday crowd at almost midnight. When Abadie and Williams joined forces they were unstoppable, except Williams left the stage for Abadie’s solo, then walked back, playing his sax as he entered, a dramatic moment. Everyone took a riff, and McCune is a pianist who could fill the Club on his own, as could Williams, a star on tenor sax. Each member of this surprisingly exceptional ensemble seemed enthralled and energized in each other’s company.

Kudos to all.

Seamus Blake on Sax, Eric Reed on Piano,
Etienne Charles on Trumpet, Kevin Kanner on Drums,
Matt Clohesy on Bass.

Eric Reed, Etienne Charles, Kevin Kanner

Seamus Blake, Eric Reed

Seamus Blake, Etienne Charles,
Eric Reed

Eric Reed Quintet

Todd Barkan and Eric Reed

Todd Barkan Dizzy's Programming Director,
Thanks the Crowd

Willie Williams on Sax,
Carlos Abadie on Trumpet,
Brandon McCune on Piano

Grassella Oliphant on Drums,
Tom DiCarlo on Bass

Willie Williams,
Brandon McCune

Grassella Oliphant Greets the Crowd

Willie Williams, Carlos Abadie,
Grassella Oliphant, Tom DiCarlo
at Leisure

Desmond Prass, Dizzy's Asst. Manager,
Grassella Oliphant

For more information, contact Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower at