Bernardo Monk | Ponele la Firma

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Latin: Tango Jazz: World Fusion Moods: Featuring Saxophone
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Ponele la Firma

by Bernardo Monk

Contemporary Argentine Tango
Genre: Latin: Tango
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Ponele la firma
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4:45 album only
2. Troesma
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9:15 album only
3. Arriba!
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3:16 album only
4. La yumba
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4:31 album only
5. Paica papusa
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3:08 album only
6. Barrio querido
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2:28 album only
7. La casita de mis viejos
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5:04 album only
8. Avenida Salgan
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3:37 album only
9. Cheronca
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3:00 album only
10. Autopista empedrada
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4:08 album only
11. Milonga del lunfardo reciclado
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1:54 album only
12. Metamorfosis
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1:15 album only
13. Altoholico
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6:00 album only


Album Notes
Buenos Aires-born Bernardo Monk began studying and playing music in 1990.

He was fourteen years old.

Everyone in his immediate family was a musician, so he too followed the family path.

His first saxophone instructors were Eduardo De Luca, Victor Skorupski and Carlos Lastra.

On a daily basis, Monk was hearing and absorbing the haunting music of 19th Century Argentina known as the tango.

In sync with this, he fell in love with American jazz, as heard on many household records and the bands in which his two older brothers played.

The music of Charlie Parker, Paquito D'Rivera and Branford Marsalis enthralled him.

Soon the enthusiastic young artist Bernardo Monk was becoming a skilled performer on soprano and alto saxophones.

Some of the Argentine musicians he would work with later are Mariano Otero, Gillespy, Lapo Gesaghi, Volpini Band and Sebastian Monk.

By 1993, Monk won First Prize as a soloist in the Expoadolescente National Arts Competition and by 2000, he had graduated from The Contemporary Music School in Buenos Aires.

Then he won an International Scholarship to study at the world famous Berklee College of Music, in Boston where he expanded his instrumental palette to include baritone sax, flute and clarinet.

At Berklee he continued to stand out, winning two more competitions: the prestigious Charlie Parker Scholarship and the Berklee Woodwinds Department Achievement Award.

Having studied intensively under the guidance of such top jazz players as Joe Lovano, Hal Crook, Jerry Bergonzi, Ed Tomassi, George Garzone, and Phil Wilson, Monk graduated Summa Cum Laude in 2003 with a Major in Jazz Performance.

During his time at Berklee, Monk also had the opportunity to perform, tour and/or record with such excellent groups as bassist Oscar Stagnaro's Peru Mestizo, The Tito Puente, Jr.

Orchestra, Sol y Canto, Puerto Rican percussionist Equie Castrillo's Latin Big Band and The Ryles Jazz Orchestra as well as ensembles led by artists such as Panamanian vocalist Patricia Elena Vlieg Quintero, Columbian singer/songwriter Marta Gomez, and Argentinean pianist/composer Pablo Ablanedo.

In 2002, Bernardo Monk and his wife, tango dancer Fernanda Cajide created MassTango, a unique and electrifying ensemble which presents the distinctive musical form called tango.

The name of the group is a play on the abbreviation for Massachusetts and also the Spanish word for "more" .



"más." But Monk doesn't stop with the tango.

He melds traditional tango musical figures and instruments [such as violin, piano, double bass, guitar and bandoneón] along with the not-so-traditional tango instruments and jazz sounds of the saxophone creating a wonderful and challenging, yet entertaining new artistic direction.

In 2004, Bernardo and pianist Octavio Brunetti won First Prize in the Best Tango Duo category at the New York City International Tango Competition for professional instrumentalists.

Also in 2004, Bernardo released his first album, Estación Buenos Aires.

He performed and recorded with such prestigious tango musicians as Néstor Marconi, Daniel Binelli, and Leonardo Ferreyra.

In 2006 Bernardo Monk released his second CD: Ponele la firma.

The new CD captures the full essence of his unique ability to unite the musical motifs of tango and jazz.


to write a review

Larry S Bates

Sax in Argentine Tango? - Oh yeah!
Great CD! Love the blending of Argentine Tango and Jazz. Some very danceable stuff here.


love it!
Excellent CD. My friend loved the present!

Rob C from Philly

Damn, I keep buying this CD and giving them away!
Damn, I keep buying this CD and giving them away!

And there’s a reason: Mr. Monk is a musician with joy and passion and a great sense of humor. No, it’s not Pugliese’s orchesta tipica, but is every bit as real. And the musicianship throughout this recording is exceptional, kudos to him for attracting such talent and creating a terrific gift to music and to tango.

Don’t be scared if you don’t know tango music or dance tango, these recordings are like a cool pool on a hot day – it’ll feel great if you just jump in. Ponele la Firma is accessible in the very best sense: not bleeding edge, but opening plenty of doors; grounded in tradition and earning the right to go beyond it. It’s a very satisfying recording to me both as a musician and an anglo-tanguero. Who am I? Just a fan. Heard him live and that was it.

Here’s what I remember best from the last CD I gave away:

-- Autopista empedrada (vals) is utterly charming and fresh.
-- The duet between Mr. Navarro (bass) and Mr. Monk surely qualifies as some of the most delicious jazz I’ve ever enjoyed, tango-tinged or otherwise – I’d almost say skip right to this track and dig in.
--Paica papusa (milonga) not a great tune, but it grew on me unbelievably because of its humor; to me it has the feeling of a live performance; Mr. Monk’s improvisations are not shy, but work for the tune.
--Altohólico. Wow, who needs coffee or mate when there’s energy like this to be had from listening. Mr. Monk tears it up with a group who are right there with him.

Go Bernardo, go!

Tamara Turner, CD Baby

Whether a connoisseur or a novice tango follower, there is quite a thrill in store when venturing into the peppery and zealous world of award-winning saxophonist, Bernardo Monk. Much like the dance itself, his stormy-red tango vocabulary wraps its arms dramatically and exuberantly around jazz approaches, taking them across the dance floor in a series of sensational and passionate moves, underscoring the fierce and yet, strikingly agreeable conversation between bandoneon and saxophone. Supported, provoked and prodded by robust piano lines and penetrating, sawing violin cries, Ponele la Firma is spilling over with so much formal yet cut-loose ferocity that thirteen tracks are not nearly enough to satiate one's Argentinian hunger; one must indulge over and over with this disc to fully absorb its compositional and emotional abundance. Inspired by Charlie Parker, Paquito D'Rivera and Branford Marsalis, Monk draws from jazz virtuosity and freedom with melodic line, bringing that "out of the box" thinking to the deeply-rooted tango territory. In other words, this project grabs your gut from the first track with unfettered passion powerful enough to sweep you off your feet and dip you as a partner would; in the tango genre, it doesn't get any better than this.

Joe P. - Richmond, VA

Sultry music for dancing the Argentine tango
This is sultry music for Argentine tango dancing. Smokey & sweaty, urban & modern. Argentine tango is hot, & so is this album! Why dance to rustic, scratchy classics when new, hot stuff like this is available?