ignore heroes

Ignore Heroes

Uncivilized 5 by Monk by Csatari 

(Ignore Heroes IH003, 2023)

Artist Statement:

Monk. Song is the operative word with his stuff, i Guess, except he can rip the most lyrical solos too . I like how his music and songs always feel "effortless" like he's not some sort of fake hipster trying to write something cool. he's never over-trying, over-sharing, over-playing, over-composing, etc. Monk seemed to be always interfacing with the great powers when he was composing, as is evidenced in his otherworldly compositions which have withstood the test of over half a century. Monk is moist. Music is moister. . . there is a level of humility to the greater goods which I hear in Monk-- I think that's what makes it feel so deep. Quotidian but also anarcho-syncratic, Monk is an infinite sphere which we will never fully understand-- he left us with all these beautiful mysteries to explore.

Advance Praise:

“Tom Csatari keeps the spirit of Monk alive on this spontaneous and unique album.” 

~ Monk Songbook transcriber & Electric Bebop Band Guitarist Steve Cardenas 

"Lots of jazz guitarists have tried their hand(s) at Thelonious Monk’s enigmatic music. It’s somehow impossible and irresistible all at once. Tom Csatari’s take is more personal than many I’ve heard. Uncomplicated and intimate, Csatari’s interpretations channel Monk’s playful seriousness. Kinda makes me wonder why Monk never featured a guitarist on his own recordings." 

~ Grammy-wining guitarist, composer, author and songwriter Adam Levy (Norah Jones, Allen Toussaint, Vulfpeck, etc.

“Patient playing.” 

~Sam Lisabeth (Guerilla Toss, Tredici Bacci, Martyr Group, CP Unit)

UNCIV MUSIC · Uncivilized - *5 by Monk By Csatari*












Tom Csatari: acoustic 3/4 Taylor Swift Signature model guitar with Attila Zoller Shadow Pickup played into Soundation Software.

Tristan Cooley: C flute on "blue monk (Feat. Tristan Cooley) [Bonus Track / Single]
Mastered by Tom Miritello.
Album cover by Joe Labate; photo by Csatari's partner CJ Douglass in their Brooklyn bathroom.

All compositions by Thelonious Monk. 

All arrangements by Tom Csatari. 


"Uncivilized is one of Brooklyn music’s wonderful little anything-goes collectives — a noisy jazz big-band one night, a folky acoustic combo the next — but with a continuously high degree of musicianship. To my mind’s eye, Uncivilized is more collective than band, as their recordings and live sets seem to feature different line-ups (though always coalescing around guitarist Tom Csatari), playing everything from acoustic music, to straight-ahead jazz, to an electric rock rumba that’s jam-bandy in the best ways." — Piotr Orlov, Brklyner



Uncivilized - "blue monk (Feat. Tristan Cooley)" [Single]


The first single from a forthcoming solo guitar album of Thelonious Monk music by the vaporous "freak folk-jazz" (Vulture, 2019) project of the guitarist  "Uncivilized Tom (Csatari)", is a flute-acoustic-guitar duet take on the seminal Monk tune "Blue Monk," which the pianist Marcus Roberts described "sounds like your grandfather sitting on the porch making sure you aren't going anywhere too far" (The New York Times, 1997). The flutist Tristan Cooley — a poet and scholar based in Vermont — has featured on nearly all of the 5 official Uncivilized recordings, "whose sound ... [is] ... a robust part of Mr. Csatari’s slow, open-throated, semibucolic melodies" (The New York Times, 2015). Cooley slips, dips, and slides alongside Csatari's thwarted, devolved, acoustic guitar plucks, chords, solo rips, chunks, splices and reharmonizations: mirroring with tact and stilted grace — a consumate un-gentleman, of sorts.  











hubert laws, freddie green , bobby jasper , bobby broom , peter bernstein , robert dick ,  paul motian with bill frisell and joe lovano , john scofield playing with joe henderson , slim harpo , bjork's take on "like someone in love" , teddy bunn playing the guitar with his thumb , the side of joe pass jazz guitar which isn't as lame as you thought (he played with ella ) , jim hall disonance / third stream crossover , w/ an unexpected faux-throw-away-impro ending to boot ... 



The New York Times:

“A mix and match jazz ensemble…” [with] “its own fuzzy, folky, big-hearted thing.”

“… jazz with twists and turns.” 

New & Notable, Bandcamp.com

“A smooth blend of psych-folk and ‘80s/‘90s-style jazz fusion…" 

Richard Gehr, The Village Voice 

“YES, JAZZ CAN BE BUCOLIC … Rustic Anarchy” 

Brian Chidester, The Deli:

“otherworldly … with great Charles Lloyd-like flutes.” 

Impose Magazine:

”…The Bernie Sanders Jazz Band.”

“…orchestrations of controlled micro-doses of chaos…”

Lucid Culture:

“…heavy pastoral jazz.“

“…hauntingly cinematic, lushly sweeping…”

Secret Decoder Magazine:

“vivid pop compositions” … “pastoral exploratory works flicker with bright life”

“…attentive dynamics and spirited playing…” 

Aquarium Drunkard:

“Uncivilized’s radical folk-jazz suggests a top down realignment is more than just possible, but necessary.”


“This sonic journey is one well worth taking.”



Uncivilized Biography

by Matt Collar

Uncivilized Plays Peaks

Uncivilized is a New York-based jazz collective led by guitarist Tom Csatari and featuring a revolving cadre of musicians. The group's sound is wide-ranging, drawing freely from post-bop, avant-garde jazz, folk, and indie rock. They debuted in 2014 with a self-titled effort before gaining wider attention with several inventive projects, including 2018's Twin Peaks-inspired Uncivilized Plays Peaks, 2020's Garden with trumpeter Jaimie Branch, and a 2022 album of Chico Hamilton songs. Following a trio of solo guitar albums, Csatari released a 2023 album of Thelonius Monk songs, 5 by Monk by Csatari.


Born in Dallas, Texas, Csatari grew up in rural New Hampshire before moving to New York City in 2007. It was there, around 2014, that he formed his genre-bending collective Uncivilized, working at various times with players like reedists Levon HenryKyle Wilson, and Casey Berman, bassists Nick Jost and Nick Jozwiak, drummer drummer Rachel Housle, keyboardist Dominick Mekky, flutist Tristan Cooley, trumpeter Luther Wong, and others. The group's eponymously titled debut, Uncivilized, appeared on the Tiny Montgomery label in 2014. In 2015, they returned with the double album, Outro Waltz, which mixed originals (including the song "Uncivilized" after which they are named) alongside covers of songs by Lee MorganElliott Smith, and others.

Melted Candy

Two years later, they released the Melted Candy EP, and followed up with a string of singles and EPs. All of this led up to the relase of their 2018 full-length, Uncivilized Plays Peaks, which mixed tunes from Angelo Badalamenti's Twin Peaks soundtrack with Csatari originals.

Placebo - Ish

In 2020, the group released Garden, featuring a collaboration with trumpeter Jaimie Branch. It was also during this period that Csatari released a trio of solo guitar albums with 2019's Placebo - Ish, 2021's Placebo - Niche, and 2021's Placebo - Transcendence.

He was back with a full ensemble for 2022's Uncivilized Plays Chico (Lagniappe Session), which found the group interpreting songs by boundary-breaking bebop and Latin jazz percussionist Chico Hamilton. In 2023, Csatari released a solo guitar album of Thelonius Monk songs, 5 by Monk by Csatari, which featured an appearance by Uncivilized flutist Tristan Cooley.