Jerry Gonzalez - Rumba Para Monk, 1989 release
Jerry Gonzalez has referred to himself as being "bilingual" in that he is equally skilled on trumpet and congas, in bebop and in Latin music. Gonzalez succeeds in his goal of combining the two idioms without watering down either style on this essential Sunnyside CD. The first Afro-Cuban Thelonious Monk tribute has plenty of spots for the percussion of Steve Berrios and Gonzalez, but also contains many strong solos from the leader`s often-muted Miles-influenced trumpet, Carter Jefferson`s tenor, and Larry Willis` very un-Monk-like piano. With the exception of "Ugly Beauty," the Latin percussion is an integral part of each performance, giving this set of Monk tunes a very different perspective that is also quite flexible. A highly enjoyable set with the highlights including "Bye-Ya," "Nutty," "Little Rootie Tootie," and "Jackie-ing." (All Music Guide)
Jerry Gonzalez, leading one of the most astonishingly fluid rhythm sections in jazz, re-assesses Monk`s music, digging deep into the rhythmic corners, and re-imagining some Monk standards as latin jazz. When Jerry`s not being one of the three or four greatest conga players alive on the planet, he`s channeling (a less laconic) Miles on trumpet and fleugelhorn, while Carter Jefferson piles on late-sixties Wayne Shorter-isms on tenor. All is laid over a continuously shifting carpet of astonishing rhythmic interplay between Jerry, bassist/brother Andy and trap drummer percussionist Steve Berrios, playing like a six-handed, six-legged mythic rhythmic demi-god.