Byzantine Monkey, bassist/composer John HÃ©bert’s long-awaited debut recording as a bandleader, documents his New York-based sextet of the same name featuring frequent collaborators MichaÃ«l Attias, Tony Malaby, Adam Kolker, Nasheet Waits and Satoshi Takeishi.
HÃ©bert’s original compositions for the group take their inspiration from a variety of sources, including his interest in Cajun music, his travels to different parts of the world and his gratitude and respect for his mentor, legendary pianist/composer Andrew Hill, with whom HÃ©bert worked from 2001 until his death in 2007.
The musicians bringing that music to life in Byzantine Monkey have all worked extensively with HÃ©bert in other ensembles, including Attias, Kolker and Malaby’s own groups and Hill’s trio and quintet. “Byzantine Monkey is me, and Byzantine Monkey is the band,” writes HÃ©bert in the liner notes. “All of our voices together, telling one story.”