Editor's Corner, Whole Note Magazine, November 2011 (on-line)
Around the same time an intriguing new album arrived – Hat and Beard: The music of Thelonious Monk – which uses for its cover art a clever re-working of the Monk-on-a-wagon portrait, this time with the vehicle fashioned from a guitar and a drum kit. The disc was recorded live at Toronto’s Somewhere There in April 2009 and features guitarist Ken Aldcroft and drummer Dave Clark (Trio Records TRP-013). Although there is no overlap of material here with "Monk’s Music" and for that matter almost none in the instrumentation, the entire album re-interprets the music of the quirky legend in some surprising ways, from a very busy 52nd Street Theme to a very sparse (but ever growing in intensity) Locomotive. A highlight is the Monk/Hawkins co-composition I Mean You. While this album in some ways outdoes the originator’s minimal approach to melody and arrangement, it certainly provides evidence of a thoughtful consideration of the music of this modern master.