Ugly Beauty. You certainly have to be willing to see the beauty in the cross-grained, capricious and angular compositions of Thelonious Monk. Pianist Robert Jan Vermeulen, together with drummer Han Bennink, saxophonist Benjamin Herman and bassist Frans van der Hoeven, saw that beauty. They called the result of their explorations Ugly Beauty, the title of one of Monk’s compositions. Te reactions of the jazz press were very positive. This quartet of Dutch top musicians didn’t select the obvious batch of Monk songs. On the contrary: the greater part is rather obscure. Further more the arrangements of these inflexible songs full of dissonants and intervals permit the group to go in at the deep end. How do you completely master the sometimes inaccessible music of the founding father of bebop? These four musicians, thanks to Bennink’s great timing and the modesty of their approach, come a long way.