Saturday, February 20, 2010

Ben Riley with Thelonious Monk

A beautiful solo here today, from drummer Ben Riley here with Thelonious Monk circa. 1965 from a concert recorded in London by the BBC:

Ben Riley will always have a special place in my heart. During my very first trip to New York City in the fall of 1999 (a trek by train from Montreal to see Elvin Jones play a week at the Blue Note) my good friend, tenor saxophonist Kelly Jefferson, showed me around the Big Apple and took me to the Village Vanguard. The band playing that night was the group Sphere featuring Kenny Barron, Gary Bartz, Buster Williams and.....Ben Riley on drums. The group played all Monk compositions and I'll never forget the great music that evening. I remember how Riley started the set with a drum solo and that he was, at first, playing so quietly that I could see his hands moving before I could hear any drums being hit.
Thanks for the introduction Ferg !


  1. What is with Ben Riley's hands in the Vanguard pictures? It looks like he is wearing blue latex gloves.

  2. I could be wrong, but I believe Ben has some problems with arthritis so he wears special gloves so he won't drop his sticks.