There are ten tracks on the album, beginning with a swinging arrangement of "Bright Mississippi." "Well You Needn't" follows, featuring Owens on the flugelhorn and the septet's rhythm section. Owens and Barron have in fact played together for years, and it shows. A funky "Blue Monk" is a real show-stopper with some down and dirty trombone from Gordon. This is one of the highlights of an album filled with strong performances. The group's take on "Stuffy Turkey" is treated more playfully, in contrast to the low down "Blue Monk." Davis gets an opportunity to get out front on the bass.
"Pannonica," one of Monk's most elegant melodies, is slowed down some in Owens' hands and achieves an almost more impressive eloquence. They follow with an uptempo version of "Let's Cool One" with Strickland's sax featured in the opening solo. "It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)" will have you bopping and nodding again with some low down improvisation.
Owens and the combo play around with rhythms on the complexities of "Brilliant Corners," and the album follows with a contemplative (what else would you expect) take on "Reflections." A ten minute ride through "Epistrophy," which gives each of the seven a moment to shine, ends the album with style. Scheduled for release in January of 2012, The Monk Project is an album to keep your ears open for.