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The London Collection Vol. 1

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Album Review

The first of three Black Lion CDs in this valuable series features music from the last significant Thelonious Monk recording session. There are ten solo performances on the spirited and generally joyful program with Monk sounding at his best on five of his originals (including the striding "Blue Sphere") plus typically unique versions of "Darn That Dream," "Meet Me Tonight in Dreammland," "Nice Work If You Can Get It," "My Melancholy Baby" and "Lover Man." Although virtually at the end of his career and playing in a style unchanged from 25 years earlier, Thelonious Monk is in prime form and seems quite enthusiastic during these memorable performances. All three volumes (which have also been reissued by Black Lion in a compact box) are easily recommended.


Born: 10 October 1917 in Rocky Mount, NC

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s

The most important jazz musicians are the ones who are successful in creating their own original world of music with its own rules, logic, and surprises. Thelonious Monk, who was criticized by observers who failed to listen to his music on its own terms, suffered through a decade of neglect before he was suddenly acclaimed as a genius; his music had not changed one bit in the interim. In fact, one of the more remarkable aspects of Monk's music was that it was fully formed by 1947 and he saw no need...
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