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On the day that Thelonious Monk died (February 17, 1982), the Monk tribute group Sphere — made up of Monk’s longtime tenor saxophonist Charlie Rouse, pianist Kenny Barron, bassist Buster Williams, and Monk’s former drummer Ben Riley — recorded an album of Monk tunes. Although Sphere began being a tribute music group, in addition, it performed originals and jazz specifications during its lifetime. The quartet documented for Elektra Musician, Crimson, and Verve (including a couple of Charlie Parker music) before disbanding after Rouse’s loss of life on November 30, 1988. Sphere re-formed in 1998, with saxophonist Gary Bartz supposing Rouse’s place; that season they released their self-titled return LP.

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