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||Hackensack||Thelonious Monk||4:12||$1.29||View in iTunes|
||Tea for Two||Thelonious Monk||3:46||$1.29||View in iTunes|
||Criss Cross||Thelonious Monk||4:40||$1.29||View in iTunes|
||Eronel||Thelonious Monk||4:30||$1.29||View in iTunes|
||Rhythm-A-Ning||Thelonious Monk||3:53||$1.29||View in iTunes|
||Don't Blame Me (Retake 1)||Thelonious Monk||7:04||$1.29||View in iTunes|
||Think of One||Thelonious Monk||6:04||$1.29||View in iTunes|
||Crepuscule With Nellie||Thelonious Monk||2:45||$1.29||View in iTunes|
||Pannonica||Thelonious Monk||6:45||$1.29||View in iTunes|
||Coming On the Hudson||Thelonious Monk||7:31||$1.29||View in iTunes|
||Tea for Two (Take 9)||Thelonious Monk||5:11||$1.29||View in iTunes|
||Eronel (Take 3)||Thelonious Monk||5:59||$0.69||View in iTunes|
Criss-Cross was Thelonious Monk's first recording for Columbia. His quartet at the time consisted of Charles Rouse, Frankie Dunlop, and John Ore. Legacy's deluxe reissue is a case in point for the high standards they've set in caring for Columbia's jazz catalog. Here are the original nine tracks — plus three bonus cuts (both alternate takes), two of which are completely unreleased. In addition there is a wonderful set of liner notes by renowned Monkist Dick Katz and a slew of amazing photographs from the sessions. Packaging aside, the music found here is hotly debated by critics as one of two choices for Monk's best recording for the label. It is his first record for the label, and he decided to issue a set of his own compositions, all of which had been recorded previously (there are two standards on the set) but never in this hard-swinging, light-touch way. Monk's dissonance is tempered here by a sprightly accent on light, quick rhythm so that "Crepescule With Nellie" and "Tea for Two," which was a Monk mainstay during those years, are taken at brighter paces. Improvisationally everything was relegated to melodic construction, and while none of this music is inside, it doesn't have the percussive left-hand heaviness of other, earlier versions of tunes such as "Hackensack," "Eronel," or "Rhythm-a-Ning." In sum, Criss-Cross is one of Monk's finest; it may not have had the crash-and-burn fast-forward aesthetic of Underground — his last album for the label, with a different rhythm section — but it did possess its freshness and willingness to not only reinvent himself as a composer and improviser but to re-envision himself as a jazz statesman instead of its terminal, most famous outsider. Criss-Cross is rife with pride in the craft of its execution and with a renewed sense of purpose.
Born: October 10, 1917 in Rocky Mount, NC
Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s