Paying Tribute to a Jazz Genius on His 100th Birthday

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Danilo Perez (Photo: John Abbott)

Panamanian pianist Danilo Perez paid tribute to Thelonious Monk 20 years ago with his album Panamonk, which put a latin spin on Monk's brilliant compositions ("Round Midnight," "Straight no Chaser," and many others). Monk famously said "wrong is right," and proved it with off-tempo rhythms and dissonant notes in memorable songs that invited improvisation. Perez is in the Bay Area this week with his trio, featuring bassist Ben Street and drummer Adam Cruz, and playing the songs from Panamonk. His interpretations remain insightful and charming. He plays Cafe Stritch Oct. 8, Kuumbwa in Santa Cruz Oct. 12, and SFJAZZ Oct. 13. Details here.