Richmond Jazz Juke: The Abinnet Berhanu Trio’s “Eronel”

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“Eronel” is usually attributed to Thelonious Monk, but that’s a fight, according to author D.G. Kelley.

And it’s less important — see if you can hear this story, within the music: “Eronel” is Lenore spelled backwards, and the Lenore in question was a young, attractive Jewish girl from Kansas City named Lenore Gordon.  Pianist Argonne Thornton, who had converted to Islam and went by Sadik Hakim, had named it for her.  Although controversy over authorship still rages among fans and musicians alike, fellow Muslim Idrees Sulieman said he wrote the A section and Hakim wrote the bridge, but it is the love story between an African-American Ahmadiyya convert and a white, Midwestern middle-class Jew that animates the song. 

Abinnet Berhanu, drums; Tedd  Baker, tenor saxophone; Michael Hawkins, bass. Heard at The Rabbit Hole, in April 2018.

The quote is from Kelley’s Thelonious Monk — The Life and Times of An American Original.