The second volume of Thelonious Monk's appearance at the 1963 Monterey Jazz Festival is drawn from two separate concerts on back to back days, with the pianist joined by longtime tenor saxophonist Charlie Rouse, bassist John Ore and drummer Frank Dunlop…
With his odd rhythmic spacing, discordant resolves and his circular yet angular compositional style, Thelonious Monk remains one of the most singular figures in all of jazz, and virtually every one of his recordings is as enigmatic as the pianist himself was. This set combines his five albums for Columbia Records, 1962's Criss Cross and Monk's Dream, 1964's Solo Monk, 1966's Straight, No Chaser, and 1967's Underground, in a single package, and anyone thinking Monk wasn't as vital during those years really needs to hear this stuff. It's classic Monk, and this collection is a great way to get it in a single swoop.
This is one of Thelonious Monk's most important records, even though it was his last studio session. He went out with a bang, with old friends Art Blakey and Al McKibbon on board in late 1971. (Any Monk record made after this is a concert bootleg with reluctant participation by Thelonious.)
Just after John Coltrane left him and before the arrival of Charlie Rouse, Thelonious Monk formed a quartet with Johnny Griffin, which played at the Five Spot in New York in August & July, 1958. Half of this music was issued on two original Riverside albums: “In Action” and “Misterioso”. This edition contains all known music from these famous gigs plus as a bonus, a rare sextet selection by Monk including Griffin, Donald Byrd and Pepper Adams.
A lost treasure from the legendary Thelonious Monk – a live date recorded in Paris at the end of the 60s – late in Monk's life, and every bit as wonderful as his famous 60s studio work with his quartet! Of that group, only Charlie Rouse remains on tenor sax – but Rouse is more than enough to make things great, and the interplay between his tenor and Monk's piano is completely sublime – full of angular movements, underscored with plenty of soul – and given support from Nate Hygelund on bass and either Paris Wright or Philly Joe Jones on drums. There's a rough edge to the music that's really great – that sharper, more sinister vibe that Monk could have in a live setting – and titles include "Light Blue", "Bright Mississippi", "I Mean You", "Ruby My Dear", "I Love You Sweetheart Of All My Dreams", "Crepuscule With Nellie", and "Nutty". Special package comes with a bonus DVD of the performance!
Most of the titles on this album are derived from Thelonious Monk's vast catalog of bop standards. Both co-leaders are at the peak of their respective prowess with insightful interpretations of nearly half a dozen inspired performances from this incarnation of the Blakey-led Jazz Messengers. This combo features Art Blakey (drums), Johnny Griffin (tenor sax), Bill Hardman (trumpet), and Spanky Debrest (bass).
This disc contains an all-star cast headed up by Thelonious Monk (piano) and includes some collaborative efforts with Sonny Rollins (tenor sax) that go beyond simply inspired and into a realm of musical telepathy. The five tunes included on Work are derived from three separate sessions held between November of 1953 and September of the following year. As is often the case, this likewise means that there are three distinct groups of musicians featured.
Interesting dialogs between Monk and various greats among saxmen: Coltrane, Rollins, and Coleman Hawkins.
The Thelonious Monk Quartet of 1964 (comprised of the pianist-composer, tenor saxophonist Charlie Rouse, bassist Larry Gales, and drummer Ben Riley) is well featured on this excellent set which is augmented by two "new" alternate takes ("April in Paris" and "Pannonica") plus a medley of "Just You, Just Me" and "Liza" that was out previously on a sampler.Easily recommended to Monk fans, this set is just further proof that he never made an unworthy recording.