The Essential Thelonious Monk [2003]

The Essential Thelonious Monk [2003]

by Thelonious Monk


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Calling an album "The Essential Thelonious Monk" is a bit misleading, especially since all the material comes from one label: Columbia. Nonetheless, this may arguably be the essential Thelonious Monk material on the label. There are 11 selections here, all recorded between 1962-1968, the period of Monk's tenure with the label. Produced for reissues by the estimable Didier C. Deutsch, Monk's essentials include recordings from all of his settings with the label: solo (the album opens with the stunning rendition of "'Round Midnight" from the Monk Alone album), followed by a live quartet outing of "Bemsha Swing" and a "Blue Monk" from the 1963 Newport Jazz Festival featuring Pee Wee Russell on clarinet. Also included are the various rhythm sections Monk employed, beginning with Charlie Rouse. There's "Rhythm-A-Ning" with John Ore and Frankie Dunlop, "Blue Monk" with Butch Warren and Dunlop, and Larry Gales and Ben Riley on "Misterioso," "Epistrophy," "Straight No Chaser," and "Well You Needn't." Monk's big band is also represented here on "Brilliant Corners," whose members included Conte Candoli, Bob Brookmeyer, Ernie Watts, and Michael Wimberly. In all, the collection is solid in that it features top-notch, unique readings of many of Monk's classic tunes. And, as some have argued, Monk's Columbia period has been underestimated and overlooked; if this is true, these may indeed be the "essential" performances. It hardly matters, though; all of this material -- originally produced by Teo Macero -- is for beginners, a great place to start a Monk collection with its brilliant selection and stellar sound.

Product Details

Release Date: 04/01/2003
Label: Sony
UPC: 0696998917521
catalogNumber: 89175
Rank: 35710

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Thelonious Monk   Primary Artist,Piano,Soloist
Bob Brookmeyer   Trumpet
Conte Candoli   Trumpet
Larry Gales   Bass
Charlie Rouse   Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone
Pee Wee Russell   Clarinet
Butch Warren   Bass
Ben Riley   Drums
Billy Byers   Trombone
Gene Cipriano   Saxophone
Frankie Dunlop   Drums
John Guerin   Percussion
Howard Roberts   Guitar
John Ore   Bass
Ernie Small   Saxophone
Ernie Watts   Saxophone
Michael Wimberly   Trombone
Fred Hill   Trumpet
Thomas Scott   Saxophone

Technical Credits

Cootie Williams   Composer
Denzil Best   Composer
Kenny Clarke   Composer
James Isaacs   Liner Notes
Teo Macero   Producer
Thelonious Monk   Composer
Bernie Hanighen   Composer
Howard Fritzson   Art Direction

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