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This Is Jazz, Vol. 5: Thelonious Monk

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Album Review

The later years of Thelonious Monk's recording career had him working for Columbia Records. This was a time when he was gaining more notoriety and publicity for his innovations in modern jazz, well past his initial forays into bebop. This single CD, while non-comprehensive, is a small but still vital slice of Monk's best work in the early '60s with his potent quartet, ostensibly co-led by tenor saxophonist Charlie Rouse. A little solo piano and big-band work is also included. All ten selections are prime originals written by Monk that every jazz fan should have in their collection, one way or another. For the casual fan who needs one of everything, this would be a good purchase, but no one should be satisfied with having just a taste when a multi-entree feast of Monk is so much more satisfying. ~ Michael G. Nastos, Rovi


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...
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