WONK's label Epistroph and Blue Note Team Up To Release Thelonious Monk's 100th Birthday Tribute Album

The American jazz pianist and composer Thelonious Monk would have been 100 years old this year, and Japanese record label Epistroph and legendary Blue Note Records will release a collaborative tribute album on Oct. 11, the day after his birthday.

Epistroph is home to WONK, the Japanese experimental soul band whose debut album Sphere released last September received high acclaim. They have huge respect for Monk’s uniquely inventive stance and style, so much so that the band’s name is a play on the jazz giant’s last name and “Sphere” is actually his middle name. The four-member band is involved in the tribute and say that the project was something they’d been planning for a while.

The yet-untitled album celebrating what would have been Monk’s 100th birthday will feature a selection of new tracks by ten of Epistroph’s best up-and-coming musicians, rappers, and beatmakers including Wonk. Details will be released at a later date.

Blue Note Records has successfully forayed beyond traditional jazz in recent years, releasing adventurous new works by such artists as Robert Glasper, Jose James and Chris Dave. The Thelonious Monk tribute album is expected to join the ranks of such innovative releases.

Wonk will also release a pair of new albums Castor and Pollux Sept. 6.