O'Higgins & Luft Play Monk & Trane all started when Luft got in touch with O'Higgins to make up a quartet. The interaction, shared sensibilities and deeply held mutual respect made this collaboration an instant success.
Dave O'Higgins explains, "Rob called me for some 'blowing' gigs last year. It wasn't difficult to find a common repertoire, and a predilection for Monk and Trane tunes was apparent. We had such fun that I suggested trying to get a short tour together and a recording and before we knew it there were 40 dates in the book and a new CD planned with Ubuntu. The music we've chosen to play focuses on lesser known Monk compositions and some of the songs Coltrane chose to record in the late 50s, more than the usual few Monk tunes and modal Coltrane so often heard. The choice of Scott Flanigan on organ changes our course from the obvious sonority associated with either musician. We have reinterpreted the material in a way that is both contemporary and in the tradition, drawing from a wide range of influences, with deep respect for the authors. American drummer, Rod Youngs, completes the quartet."
Rob Luft explains, "I've always found a great way of looking forwards musically is actually to look back and study the great masters of jazz.
The songbooks of Thelonious Monk and John Coltrane are two of the most significant in the jazz canon, and this project is my first attempt at revising their music through my own musical filter. It's really an honour to be working with Dave on this record as I've been a great fan of his playing ever since I got into jazz."
"This is a dream team, made in jazz heaven", says Martin Hummel, Director of Ubuntu Music. "I've been a massive fan of Dave's ever since I can remember, and Rob is undisputedly one of the best young jazz talents there is. Put these two together and you have an intoxicating cocktail of jazz at its finest, with a repertoire from two legendary masters. We are thrilled to be a part of this exceptional project."
released October 6, 2019
Dave O'Higgins - tenor saxophone
Rob Luft - guitar
Scott Flanigan - organ
Rod Youngs - drums
Quartet recorded 14 & 15 January 2019
Duo recorded 23 January 2019
JVG Studio, Brixton, London
Engineered & mastered by Dave O'Higgins
Mixed & produced by Dave O'Higgins & Rob Luft
Executive producer: Martin Hummel
With thanks to Serious for their generous support of the project
Dave O'Higgins plays Vandoren Reeds
Photography by Christine Ongsiek
Cover design by Judith O'Higgins