Regular readers of the site will know I’m a big Lonnie Smith fan. He keeps putting out great work year after year, and his latest Blue Note release Evolution is another feather in his turban. The band keeps it funky from front to back, with enough surprises thrown in to make sure I’ll keep the album on rotation for a long time.
This energetic update of Monk’s “Straight No Chaser” breathes new life into a standard that some jam session veterans feel has been done to death. I personally have always found the melody to be rhythmically hip, and now it’s got some changes to match.