The Jazzcat

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Just Jazz Presents The John Beasley Trio on Wednesday May 30th!!!

by on May.26, 2018, under News


GRAMMY®-nominated Mack Avenue recording artist and Emmy-nominated Music Director…

The John Beasley Trio

Wednesday May 30th @ 7:30pm

Doors open @ 6pm, Drink and Appetizer Reception @ 6:30pm


With Tabari Lake from the Virgin Islands on Bass and Cuban Drummer Ramses Rodriquez, a major splash in the International waters of Rhythm.


“Just Jazz” A Brand NEW Wednesday Night after work concert series at a well established boutique art gallery

on Sunset Blvd called…

Address | 7420 W. Sunset Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90046


See the entire series and purchase advanced tickets at

Bob Barry photos from the Walter Smith III show


Every Wednesday Night you can come out to enjoy an evening Music, Premium Photography, a Live on site Radio Broadcast and some of the best and most progressive Live Jazz Available.

It’s A Jazzcat Curated Experience!!!

We continue our series with Grammy Nominated, Arranger Extraordinare

 The John Beasley Trio

Wednesday May 30th @ 7:30pm

Doors open @ 6pm, Drink and Appetizer Reception @ 6:30pm

Upcoming Artists

LeRoy Downs, “The Jazzcat” together with All Music Television in association with Mr. Musichead Art Gallery each week present the Just Jazz Series will feature the Premier Artists in the world of Jazz, have a special event under the covered patio and give back to an arts, education or music charity. We also invite you to come out early, enjoy the gallery, food by El Compadre, and this week as special book xxx of Popsie Randolph

Our charity for this week is The California Jazz Foundation

Our Sponsors in include


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Live Broadcast Direct from the New “Just Jazz Series” Every Wednesday @ 6:30pm on Sounds and Colors Radio!

by on May.22, 2018, under News

(Click picture above to listen to live stream)

The Jazzcat Broadcasting Live

Every Wednesday 


on SoundsandColorsRadio.Net

from the New Just Jazz Series

at Mr Musichead Gallery!

Join me each week as I broadcast Live and Direct from our New Wednesday Night Jazz Series in Town called

Just Jazz!!!

  Each week I will spin an eclectic set jazz from 6:30pm to 7:30 pm and will interview the Artist performing that evening for the Just Jazz Concert Series. Sounds and Colors Radio is my 24 hour stream of extremly superb Jazz!

Click the Sounds and Colors Logo above

and be directed to the stream where you can listen to 24-7!

The Series Kicks off with Walter Smith III and I will spin some tunes and rap with Walter and chat about his latest project and what he will have in store for the evening!

Check out our entire series and purchase tickets in advance to guarantee your spot in our Jazz Curated Experience! Come enjoy the Mr Musichead Gallery of photos, check out our Jazz Lounge, have wine and appetizers and of course an extremely pristine set of cutting edge, progressive Jazz!


Doors Open @ 6, Drinks and Appetizer Reception at 6:30p, Sounds and Colors Radio Live Broadcast @ 6:30p, Live Jazz @ 7:30p.


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LeRoy Downs and Mark Maxwell talk about NEW Just Jazz Series @ Midnight on May 21 on RISE 90.7 FM KPFK

by on May.20, 2018, under News

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Tune in as I team up with my main man Mark Maxwell on RISE!!


Sunday @ Midnight / Monday May 21st @ 12:00am


We will talk about and get into some music from some of today’s progressive Jazz players on the scene who happen to be apart of the Brand NEW Just Jazz Series curated by yours truly LeRoy Downs, “The Jazzcat”

Back once again to stretch, share and expand vibrations, positive buoyancy,  encourage, uplift and provoke thought while loving the creators, honoring the masters and blessing those with a thirsty ear for quality sonic experiences. JAZZ MUSIC!!! And to coin a phrase from our President, “Let Me Be Perfectly Clear”, mediocracy, redundancy and popularity are prohibited in exchange for a proclivity of pristine, progressive, organic, quality jazz music!

Rise Logo

It’s always a pleasure to share the airwaves with my man and yours Mark Maxwell. Come and join us as we mix, spin and blend sound experiences. Sunday Night / Monday Morning, the dawn of a new day on 90.7 FM KPFK.ORG


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Listen and Enjoy The Jazzcat on KCRW Sat May 19th Introduces “Just Jazz” Brand New Jazz Series!!

by on May.14, 2018, under News

Hello Beautiful Jazz People!

The Jazzcat introduces the NEW “Just Jazz Concert Series”

Saturday May 19th

KCRWClick Picture above and Listen to the Show!!!

3am – 6am

We will be spinning the best in jazz music that you never heard and talking about the Brand New Progressive Jazz Series in Los Angeles called…


With a line-up of Today’s Top progressive and creative improvisors

We kick off with the one and only

Walter Smith III on May 23rd and YOU are invited!!

It’s such pleasure programming the most exciting music for you. Jazz is about Life; constanty blossoming, reaching out, reaching back, in the trenches of socio political landscapes, painting with colors that are vibrant, daring and full of creative imagination.

Our musicians our poets, telling the stories of our lives, the heroes who came before us and the responsibility that we have now to lend our vibrations towards truth, justice and beauty!

Join me for a cerebral mix of emotions that relish the times past, present and future!

We are United through MUSIC! Saturday Los Angeles 3am, New York 6am, Tokyo 8pm, Brussels 12pm, Paris 12pm, Istanbul 2pm, ChiTown 5am, London 6am, Brazil 6am, Dubai tune into the source!!! One World, One Vibration: Love!!!!

89.9 FM


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The Jazzcat curates NEW Wednesday Night Jazz Series called “JUST JAZZ”

by on May.01, 2018, under News


“Just Jazz” A Brand NEW Wednesday Night after work concert series at a well established boutique art gallery

on Sunset Blvd called…

Every Wednesday Night, starting on May 23rd you can come out to enjoy an evening music and art! 

We begin our series with one of the world leaders in saxophone

Walter Smith III

Wednesday May 23rd @ 8pm

Doors open at 6pm

Wine and Cheese Reception at 6:30pm

Just Jazz at 8pm

LeRoy Downs, “The Jazzcat” together with All Music Television in association with Mr. Musichead Art Gallery each week present the Just Jazz Series will feature the Premier Artists in the world of Jazz, have a special event under the covered patio and give back to an arts, education or music charity. We also invite you to come out early, enjoy the gallery, food by El Compadre, and this week as special book xxx of Popsie Randolph

Our charity for this week is The California Jazz Foundation

Our Sponsors in include


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Terence Blanchard in the West at SFJAZZ and the Soraya Spreads Truth Through Sonic Vibrations!

by on Apr.16, 2018, under News

E for Electric, exciting, elation, evolution, equality, equinox and essential.
The patrons here at SFJAZZ are so diverse in terms of their cultural mix of intellectuals. This is such a blessing that this music we love, Jazz has made its way into every aspect of our society. The only thing missing is the presence of youth and that is the responsibility of us all. Next time everybody bring your youth. Let them know that you want to spend time with them and plant the seed of creativity. Tell them, there is code built into the system allowing a back door to old ways of thinking but, “This ain’t your grand daddy’s music, It’s yours” and together we can raise an entire generation of jazz lovers!

I specifically remember asking Terence at least 2 decades ago, what was happening with the music. At that time, many artists were coming out with albums that were leaving the arena of what most would traditionally classify as jazz. He told me, “the music was like a tree that continues to grow”. My concern is that the changing sound of the music would span outside the realm of what we know as jazz. But in 2018, the sounds, expanding concepts, the political tension, the power of consciousness, strength of humanity, the will of people to balance the scales of justice, world cultural influences and the times that are a changing all fall under the colorful, emotional and prowess of Jazz! This is an ever changing world and we must learn to acknowledge the past, embrace its blossoming beauty and stand fast against the evils that constantly plague our existence.

Elaborate visuals appear on scream with the symbol of Terence’s last album, “Breathless” right at the center. I look at this symbol and the single phrase indelibly lodged in my brain is,” I can’t breathe”, the injustice of today’s world and our entire history as Americans speak loud and clear. The story for people of all colors stand prevalent at the forefront. As we begin, the sound of one note starts out as a small beacon and becomes omnipresent as the words of Cornell West lays down truth and wisdom about humanity.
Groove emanates as the musicians enter stage right. Terence clicks in for effects and its on. From trumpet to keys laying a bed of love under Charles Altura who takes the lead and runs with it. Gerald Clayton dirges into the depths of consciousness before emerging vivaciously, raising the power of the band. The backbone of that power is the bright ever-present energy of Oscar Seaton’s driving force of rhythm. His smile means he is having fun but also, at the pinnacle of the hit!


The intensity builds and the rue gets thick. You can feel a pendulum shift as the band turns the corner. The montage of images are conscious, changing and depicting worldly thoughts and ideas as they sear and subliminally unite humanity, culture, sound, and truth with no justice. A powerful blend of earth and water, stars and stripes splattered in painted blood, a dove representing hope, the all seeing eye, fire, the faces of our people, yin and yang, the Ankh of life, a moving canvas of cultural diversity, beauty and darkness in the eyes of the Sphinx. No matter who is at the helm, it’s all about us and we, not I.
We share this place mind, body and soul from the earth to the heavens. The air is for us all to BREATHE. Oscar’s shirt tonight says it all. It’s one word “Beloved” but, with the angles and changing images can be interpreted as, Love, Be Love and Beloved. The message to the establishment, skip the rhetoric and put a wall around THIS!(use your imagination)

Terence loves these cats. He watched Gerald Clayton since he was a kid sitting in for his regular pianist Fabian Almazon tonight. Gerald took on the music so effortlessly, Terence questions whether he needs to write more challenging music. On bass, from Winnsboro SouthCarolina, a funky cat in and out of the pocket, David Ginyard. From Chi-town and one of the reason why this bands exist, brother Oscar Seaton. They both did a film score together and the music was so funky! The kept messing up the takes just because they wanted to have more fun and did not want the session to be over. The film score was for a movie called “Talk to Me and they decided that they need to create a band and take this music on the road. Terence initially met Oscar when he was playing with Art Blakey and Oscar was with Oscar Peterson. Charles Altura, the cat from the Bay by way of Stanford University Anthropology Department, hence digging in and dusting off the bones and making them shine to reveal the true nature of what was, what it and what will be!

Terence has a new album called “Live” that was just released. “Caravan” was original name. They traveled or “Caravaned” to all of the states and cities that had tragic incidents to play and offer sonic healing for the people; it was an amazing experience. He dedicates one of his compositions to a hero of music. Not a jazz musician but, his sound has always been at the core of influence and Terence has always had mush love and respect for the greatness of Jimi Hendrix.


So we cruise down the coast back to Los Angeles where we experience Terence at the Soraya, which for jazz has been recently transformed into an intimate jazz club experience; where you are literally onstage behind the curtains as the musicians perform. The artistic director has done a fine job at securing some of the most dynamic players in the business to perform including Cecil McLauren Salvant, Amir El Saffar, The Miles Davis Electric Band, and of course Terence, with an exciting line-up for its 2018-19 season.

On point this evening is Taylor Eighsti on piano who brings his wisdom, humor and illustrious touch to already rich and soulfully saturated band increasing its flavor. Tonight the groove takes you down a rabbit hole of knowledge. Once you go down this path, ignorance is longer an option. This is the beauty and the curse of enlightenment and music can certainly contribute to that elevation. It is unavoidable as Terence writes such emotion into his compositions that if you don’t already know, you are forced to ask the questions. As a matter of fact, the statements, feeling and words are consciously embedded in the fabric of the sound so there is no escape! Heal some souls, heal some hearts, and let the table be filled with discussion that may or may not change attitudes but, if we talk together in a respectful way, maybe humanity will prevail over color and injustice because Orange, Ain’t the new Black!

Soldiers”, written for all of the social workers and people who are out there working hard in America and trying to make a difference is one of those tunes where you hear the implication of voices; the struggle, the power and an eminent implication of what is to come if we don’t just all get a long. I know there is us and them but, let’s talk about “we” as a way of thinking, as a way of living and a way of being. If you don’t stand up for it, you will fall as a result of it. “Therefore, we must ignore, fightin’ and fussin’, Blanchard’s in the house and they’ll be no bum rushin’”.

With a degree in architecture, David Ginyard Jr. once again crafts beautiful structural underlying vibrations in addition to a new rhythm in the second set as our very own Gene Coye puts his lock on the drum set. You can see Terrence staring with his funky headbop of approval as Coye descends a nation of rhythm upon us.

Terence Blanchard, composer, musician, human, taking his craft and wares to market adjudicating truth and exposing injustice through the essence of gorgeous vibrations in your body and in your face. We come from the power of love which cannot be denied and will prevail over any false prophecy. The music is the magic!



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Rest In Peace: A Memory for Dear Brother Cecil Taylor at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco

by on Apr.07, 2018, under News

Cecil TaylorRest in Peace


Oh my, Grace Cathedral is such a massive and superior place for the delivery of extraordinary blessings on high. It is gorgeous, stimulating and stunningly beautiful! After a day of trains to the City, back to Oakland and back to the City once again, to just be still was a thrill, but not my heart.




Blood flow would certainly be at an increased capacity once Cecil started to light it up.  The Cathedral was packed and luckily one of the ushers spotted a couple of great seats for me. The lights dimmed and the spotlight was on the piano. Cecil was not there but, you heard his voice peering from the unknown. Metaphysically sophisticated rants of poetic verbal reverberations start off as small waves and pass through the sea of beings getting greater as they reach the rear of the cathedral. Upon their return you are slightly surrounded by the single sound which has grown exponentially in clarity and complexity.


Into the light he appears still spewing thoughts, words, phrases, and philosophical equations that froze Dante bronze in his most popular position. They say great minds think alike but what did they say about those who think from different angles? Now if you can understand and breakdown the rhetoric of Taylor, then you really have it going on because this is Cecil’s world, and the best we can do is be gracious that we are invited guests. Don’t try to figure out and dissect the blessings, just sit back, be open, listen and let the love of the music fill your soul!
 Cecil makes his transition of languages and while the air is still ringing with the sustain of his poetry. The space is filled with audible thematic cinemas depicting one’s own personal images of past, present and future. The journey of the dance begins and although your body will not physically rise, cerebrally you will touch on lands and end up in the “Thinker” back on the same shores, but in a totally different state. There are galaxies unknown to man but perhaps Cecil has tapped into the source and is interpreting its signals. From thunderous chords to sheets of cascading notes, the relevance of form, structure and composition melt in to one continuous source of positive energy; like looking at the code in the Matrix. The speed by which the information is traveling through him to the piano is so fast that the sounds tax the system creating a vortex between reality and the pure source of inspiration. Yes, he is human but he is red pill plugged in!


 Cecil blasts off and so much is seen from the portal of his ship. Musically, he documents his hypothesis, provides sufficient data for his theories, logs the encrypted information in his journal and the beautiful cipher is enjoyed yet remains unbroken. The world exists as a drop of water and the entity gets smaller as the experience approaches infinity. There could be no more perfect of a place for the spirit, the energy and the music to connect; the euphoric crossroads of life, journey, destiny, reason and purpose.


Are all heads bowed, all eyes closed and all bodies swaying? No, but this particular state acts as conduit where the music directly infuses into the soul. The number one is a represented as a whole, the entire spectrum. But, while one has a beginning and an end, Cecil finds his solace in the exploration of the freedom between the two distinctly identical points!


You can practice for hours and days but there isno memorizing to play a piece of music. The practice is to have the energy and the strength to let the piece of music play you! The music is all too lovely and even though the form and structures are different, the in, out, up and down all pleasantly love and respect each other. If you played every note on the piano individually, there would be no bad notes, only good. Cecil is like a gourmet chef who mixes blends and spices all eighty-eight ingredients for health of body, wealth of mind, nutrients for the spirit all in an intriguing dish to pleasure the pallet.

The experience is like the staring into a changing image with respect to the music. As you listen, concentrate and feel the music, the images formulate and the ears open wide! If there is any type of distraction the image is instantly gone and you must go back to the beginning to find a new path to synchronization. I had my eyes closed and was totally engrossed in the music until, the young lady next to me, as fine as she was released her toxic Kimchi carbon monoxide fermentation in my direction and literally blew me out of the water. DRAKARUS!

As I recover I find that it is pretty evident that Cecil can fill the space with a voracity of chord clusters and plights of splendor that emphasize that the quartet is not missed. Solo that gets you so high! A standing ovation to Cecil but, I also applaud an audience of curious listeners who stayed in full force and did not leave as sometimes unbelievers do. And just as he appeared from the darkness so does he retire. The musical mystic that we are forever grateful for!





LeRoy Downs

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Monkestra along with a Tribute to Errol Garner and Geri Allen at The Walt Disney Concert Hall!

by on Mar.11, 2018, under News

Any night of music at the Walt Disney Concert hall has the highest probability of being spectacular simply because it’s such a magical place. Many patrons come early, eat, visit the bar, roam around the bookstore or spend time admiring the architecture. On a few occasions, there is something special happenings in BP Hall and tonight, Director Cynthia Exum of The Leimert Park Book Lounge is on hand with a number of fantastic vendors representing the art and culture of the village. All in celebration of the great Thelonious Monk!

I quite frequently use the word tapestry to describe the fabric that the musicians weave with the music. This time, I mean it literally when speaking of a true tapestry and multi-media artist and Master, Kisasi Ramsess! He travels all over the world representing the music we love as he weaves, paints, draws and constructs intricate images of musicians past and present on cards, calendars, T-shirts, posters, stained glass and yes, on tapestry!

Martell Cognac was on hand providing the patrons with their version of “Straight No Chaser”, a golden sip and a luxurious burn for the right cosmic vibration to take in creativity. A fine display of jazz books, records and memorabilia was on hand as well courtesy of Jeffery Winston of the California Jazz Foundation, producer of Straight Ahead Jazz Plus, Chet Hanley, The California Jazz and Blues Foundation and mother of Leimert Park, Ms. Barbara Morrison. 

As a man, and author who has spent many years researching the finest details when it come to Thelonious Monk, jazz historian Robin D.G. Kelly is in the house with his new updated version fresh off the press; “Thelonious Monk: The Life and Times of an America Original”. So new, he has opened up the box but, has not had the chance to even turn one page! I made sure I bought the first copy!

Errol Garner and Concert by the Sea, originally recorded in Carmel California, is just one of the classic recordings but, an inspiration to Geri Allen who just a few short years ago in 2015, put together a project honoring the legendary pianist. The Errol Garner Project: Concert-by-the-Sea featured three outstanding pianists; Jason Moran, Christian Sands and of course Geri Allen. Errol has long departed and just recently, way too soon for all of us, Geri has joined the ranks of our fallen and uplifted angels of the music. The concert tonight opens with a recreation of that project with again three phenomenal pianists; Christian Sands, Helen Sung and Gerald Clayton.

Each generation has produced incredible talent that is all too often overlooked by the regular closed eared, routine layman over shadowed by bright light facades. But always, in the trenches and practice rooms of the world, emerges superior creative talent whose passion and dedication force them to seek out that which makes their sound superior; truly their best!

Musicians are musicians and choose not to be in a box with a label so we are blessed that these three have chosen to embrace jazz as their primary sound.


The magic of film brings back vivid sounds and memories that put us back in time to touch on nostalgia as we forge into the future. Fearless virtuosity indeed. In a moments notice, after watching excerpts of Errol Garner on the big screen, there is Music! On the stage are three grand pianos with their tops removed to amplify the vibration. Sands, Clayton and Sung, three brains, six arms, thirty phalanges, eighty eight keys, one melody. That’s about thirty-one toes to be stepped on but, everyone is in true harmony! Joined by Russell Malone on guitar, Darek Oles on bass and Victor Lewis on drums, it’s quite a dirge into a delightful abyss, recapturing the essence of that which was and basking in its warmth.

Gerald speaks about the multiple masters of the music Eroll and Geri and how their sound has been appreciated in their vast contribution of the music. When you listen to Gerald play, you feel the natural fluidity of his expression as if you were the notes gliding on and off of the staff. A true ride of pleasure. On the standard “Autumn Leaves” Gerald shows us that this generation paid attention and respects the mastery of the past and that the sound will continue to be treasured for a millennium to come.

Each pianist had their own individual turn with the rhythm section. Helen swings the way of the Blues on “Sweet and Lovely”. Jazz with the underling foundation of classical, exuding happiness and a love for the music and her fellow musicians has catapulted this humble star to the light. Helen talks about lovely memories of Geri.


Christian embodies the style, stride and swag of yesteryear as that Dr. Billy elegance shines brilliantly, he takes this generation by storm with one foot in and the rest stretching out! The sound is spewing out of his body as he rolls across those keys with the lightest touch and the flyest delivery. Devine! He talks about his excitement of playing and loving how sharp Errol was back in the day.

Russell Malone lives for the blues. He is one of the most proficient and immaculate guitar players their is and as Christian puts it, “a living legend”. Bobbing his head and tapping his feet as he gazes at Helen while digging her swing! On his own solo, there is no doubt that the clearest intonation is articulated and the heart and soul of the blues is at his and your fingertips! Russell describes Geri Allen as a visionary and fearless. He quotes Dr. Billy Taylor “Just as Eroll was not intimidated by Art Tatum”.

100 years of Thelonious Monk genius vibrating and thriving through the test of time on planet earth. A special night of music indeed led by one of the great composers, arrangers and musicians of this generation, Mr. John Beasley! Notions of the unfolding dream that is Thelonious Monk, layer by layer take shape and form into modern day contemporary swing, groove and hip hop delight.

Oh that Thelonious Monk, he’s crazy” says the Sphere himself, who clearly knows something that us mere mortals have taken years to understand!

The visuals begin and so does the swing, the dance, and the spin! The joy and jubilant rhythms of Master Monk. The men in Black are “Rhythmining”. Splashes and flashes of Monk on screen synchronized and dancing to to his own piano. Beasley did a phenomenal job of taking footage of Monk and not only incorporating it into the performance but, arranging it so Monk and the band are actually playing together!

Monkestra plays many of Monks great tunes with that phat horn section and then, Monk comes in to a solo. Its fantastic! Arranging the proper synchronization has been more of a challenge than John expected but, the show and the music were on point! Dee Dee comes out and is honored to be a part of this extraordinary performance and says she’s nervous but, if you know Dee Dee, she is about to tear it up! She sings while Monk and Monkestra play Round Midnight. Ben Sheppard gets into a duo trade with Dee Dee then Terreon breaks it down and the groove begins.

The footage shows Monk walking down the street in New York getting accolades from admirers, him on the road with Nellie, Johnny Griffin and the cats, with Pannonica, in the studio, him dancing in the train station and on stage. It took some meticulous precision to place the scenes exactly where they made the most sense and impact. The sweetest is watching Nellie get Monk dressed while Dee Dee drops a lovely version of “Ruby My Dear”.

Quotes by critics also appear on the screen and as I mentioned earlier, it took quite a while for folks, even people who claimed to know the music to even get a clue. The small minority understand progress while the rest like to hold onto what they know as fact. But, the 360 degree Sphere keeps turning and if you stand still, and don’t run towards to embrace, you’ll just fall off into the pile of naysayers. As you can imagine, not so encouraging words were written. Monk’s only reply….”Never listen to the hecklers”, “Writing about the music is like dancing to Architecture”. Yeah, who does that?

At the most perfect point between songs transitioning, a close-up of Monk’s smiling image appears on screen and then, Disney goes dark! Sirens and flashing lights; this was exciting! We all thought that perhaps the next scenes were Monk being harassed by the Police or getting his Cabaret card taken. Turned out, that it was an alarm that rang out through Disney Hall with words asking us to be calm and remain in our seats! The flashing lights were so cool and for a minute, I thought that Beasley and the cats were going to play it! But, as the thoughtful cat that John is, he went check so that we would all be safe. Turns out that the alarm was triggered from a room where no one was or had access to.  All we remembered was the last image we saw of Monk, close up smiling. “Humph”? Well, if you “Ask Me Now”, I would say “Monk’s Mood” was “Criss Crossing” “Off Minor” around “Brilliant Corners”! There’s no “Evidence” but when “Monk’s Dreams”, it can be a little “Nutty” and “Misterioso”. “Well You Needn’t” worry, the lights came back on and the band continued on with that “Bemsha Swing” as then played a killer version of “Skippy”

After the alarm and flashing light’s incident, Monk’s next quotes read…

“Stop playin’ all that bull*!^%$”.

The Spirit of Monk lives on in many ways! You got to Dig it, Dig It Dig it!!

LeRoy Downs

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