A PianoLessMonk Merrier Christmas

by the Bernard Stepien Quartet

December 22nd, 2005 7:00 to 10:30 PM

at the Mercury Lounge, Byward market, Ottawa

Bernard Stepien, Tenor Saxophone

Charlie Gordon, Trumpet and Fluegelhorn

Thomas Posner, bass

Scott Warren, drums and percussions

The continuous exploration of the Thelonious Monk 90 compositions repertoire has given us the opportunity to focus on one of his more obscure composition, a christmas carol entitled "A Merrier Christmas". Working on this composition has been quite a challenge since there is no known recording of it. It however has all the characteristics of a Monk tune: motivistic, ambiguous time-signatures, odd rythmic patterns juxtapositions, deceptively simple harmonics and a few carefully engineered dissonances. Thus our performance of this tune will be an extrapolation of all the experiences with Monk's music that we have acquired over the past three years.

The venue, date and time ( 7 PM) for this concert has been carefully chosen so as to maximize its Christmas focus. The Mercury lounge is located in the Byward market and thus is accessible from the hart of your traditional Christmas shopping area, giving you time to enjoy a meal and attending this concert without having to go home first and be dragged away by familly issues. There is ample room to store your Christmas shopping bags at the Mercury and you should be able to be home by 9:30, thus no need for explanations!

Finally, for those who want to sing along Monk's A Merrier Christmas, here are Thelonious provided lyrics:

Now it is Christmas time, hear the bell ring pretty sounds.

Ting ting ting ting ting ting ting tong.

So we'll make this Christmas better than the ones gone by.

We'll have a merrier Christmas.

Yes, it is Christmas time, hear the bell ring pretty sounds.

Ting ting ting ting ting ting ting tong.

Well, you have 24 days left to memorize them! In the mean time, the PianoLessMonk team wishes you a merry Christmas time.