Here's a statement Terry wrote about Monk:
"Thelonious Monk is the master mathematician in both harmony
and rhythm, while all the while composing a beautiful melody.
I started playing this music when I was 14, and even after all this
time, I know that looking at his music is like looking into the
cosmos. No matter what you know now, there's always more."
A music friend Don Sheldon adds:
Terry Adams has been an ardent admirer of Thelonious Monk. Monk, he says, “inspired me to be who I am, no matter what.” Not surprisingly, the word “iconoclastic” has often been used to describe both pianists.
Terry Adams is one of a kind. He has been described as "the untamed genius of the keyboards" and "one of the Creator's Cultural Advisers" (the latter quote from the legendary cosmic jazz explorer Sun Ra). He is also the driving force and visionary behind the brilliant band NRBQ since the group's inception more than four decades ago. His consummate musicianship, distinctive rocking jazz piano, and innovative use of the clavinet, as well as his irreverent sense of humor, have delighted and dazzled music fans around the world.
Musical categories have never interested Adams – he is just as comfortable playing with jazz great Roswell Rudd as with rock legend Link Wray. He’s led the wildly talented “rock & roll band” (as good a term as any) NRBQ for decades, yes, but he also appeared in the Robert Altman film Short Cuts in 1993 (as pianist with Annie Ross), toured with jazz composer Carla Bley through Europe in 1977, and released live improvisational duets with Sun Ra Arkestra saxophonist Marshall Allen in 2005. His first solo album, 1995’s Terrible, is an “extraordinarily musical collection” (All Music Guide) of instrumental compositions that would be classified as jazz if Adams used such categories.
It is surprising that Terry Adams has never done a night of music written by, inspired by, and informed by Monk before now. He did compile a Thelonious Monk collection for Columbia records, 1979’s Always Know, and he did appear on the 1984 Thelonious Monk tribute album, That’s The Way I Feel Now, with and without NRBQ. Never before, though, has he prepared a night of music dedicated to Thelonious Monk.