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Sphere

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Biography

On the very day that Thelonious Monk died (February 17, 1982), the Monk tribute group Sphere -- comprised of Monk's longtime tenor saxophonist Charlie Rouse, pianist Kenny Barron, bassist Buster Williams, and Monk's former drummer Ben Riley -- recorded an album of Monk tunes. Although Sphere started out as a tribute band, it also performed originals and jazz standards during its existence. The quartet recorded for Elektra Musician, Red, and Verve (including a set of Charlie Parker tunes) before disbanding after Rouse's death on November 30, 1988. Sphere re-formed in 1998, with saxophonist Gary Bartz assuming Rouse's place; that year they issued their self-titled comeback LP. ~ Scott Yanow
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