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Brilliant Corners

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iTunes Review

Brilliant Corners still startles with its strangeness: it’s hard not to wonder what people thought of it when this classic of modern jazz was originally released in the mid-1950s. Monk’s work is complex, down-home and bracingly abstract, and a great band is on hand to interpret this idiosyncratic, innovative, and difficult music. On “Ba-lue Bolivar Balues-are,” the rhythm section of Max Roach and Oscar Pettiford lays down a solid foundation and Monk dazzles: the pianist’s every plink, plonk, and jab stabs the air with brilliance. The mellow, yet tweaked “Panonica” opens with Monk outlining the tune’s melody on celeste while his left hand plays piano accompaniment. Max Roach, the disc’s stellar drummer, incorporates rumbling timpani into the works on “Bemsha Swing,” a track that certainly swings, but in its own unique, delightfully sputtering way. Sonny Rollins seems completely at home on the tune, cruising along as wild waves of rhythm toss beneath him. Brilliant Corners is the kind of album you can hear again and again and still keep discovering new sounds.

Customer Reviews

Monk's brilliance

A great album. The title song is a standout track -- most cover versions eliminate the slow sections, which always makes me a little sad.

Brilliant Corners, Brilliant Pianist!

Everything by Monk is brilliant, everyone should have a good chunk of their music library dedicated to this music. Highly original! Peace and Love Guy Piano

Brilliant Monk!

Great Album by one of the greats of jazz. Also, this may be one of the best album covers I have ever seen, for what it is worth. Bemsha Swing is my favorite cuts.


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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