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The London Collection: Vol. 3

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Album Review

The third of three Black Lion LPs taken from Thelonious Monk's final recording session as a leader features the unique pianist/composer on six solo performances (including the ten-minute "Chordially," which documents him warming up) and five trio numbers with bassist Al McKibbon and drummer Art Blakey. A special bonus of this CD is that three alternate takes ("Nutty," "Crepuscule with Nellie" and "Evidence") were previously unissued, even on Mosaic's "complete" Thelonious Monk Black Lion and Vogue LP box set. Although virtually at the end of his career, Monk sounds quite content throughout this date and is in top form. All three CDs are also available in a compact Black Lion box set, and they serve as a strong close to the career of the remarkable Thelonious Monk.


Born: October 10, 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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