The celebration of the music of Thelonious Monk that is at the heart of the performances of UK Jazz collective Monk Inc. has grown from a long-time collaboration between Ben Higham and Simon Youngman.

This collaboration has always sought to capture the essence of the music of some of jazz’s more idiosyncratic composers - Charles Mingus, Herbie Nicholls, Thelonious Monk - in particular to capture an ensemble approach to expression in performance.

A focus on the melody, harmony and texture of the music is key to collective understanding and presentation allowing the individual players to make contributions in a closely connected way that leads to exciting, tense and even humorous moments of celebration.

Between them the band-members boast an impressive list of European musical encounters including working with Mike Adcock, Paul Jolly, Miguel Martins, Maggie Nichols, Courtney Pine, Viktor Ritovs, Paul Rutherford, Jorn Skogheim, John Stevens and Vladimir Tarasov.

Ben Higham - trumpet, flugelhorn and tuba
Simon Youngman - soprano and alt sax
Dave Amis- trombone
Ivars Galenieks - double bass
Aaron Kerry - drums

In 2010 Monk Inc. released their first album Propensity.

What really catches the ear is the sustained emphasis on the more idiosyncratic aspect of the music... The simultaneously straightahead and divertingly eccentric “Propensity” is really an exercise in texture. ***
Robert Shore, Jazzwise, February 2010