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Thelonious Monk Trio (Remastered)

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iTunes Review

Though he’d be acclaimed as one of jazz’s most original — if decidedly idiosyncratic — talents by the late ‘50s, Thelonious Monk had in fact spent most of the previous decade-plus toiling in obscurity while developing a reputation as something of a musical and personal kook. This intimate 1952 collection for Prestige picks up on the threads of the pianist’s pioneering Blue Note sides and sonically refines them a bit, yet sacrifices little of his angular rhythmic sense or spare melodic instinct that employed empty space and dissonance like no other. Cut a couple years before he’d finally gain fame at the Riverside label, this collection is culled from sessions where Monk’s trio consists variously of bassists Percy Heath and Gary Mapp and drummers Art Blakey and Max Roach. Anchored by a generous, exuberant workout of “Blue Monk” that showcases his unique approach to harmony and structure, the album then relapses into a less successful take on “Just a Gigolo” before soaring back to form via a delicious “Bemsha Swing” and a “Little Rootie Tootie” where Monk delights in leaning into every discordant punctuation. “Bye-Ya” pivots on a little Latin rhythmic flair, while “Monk’s Dream,” “Trinkle Trinkle” and a cover of “These Foolish Things” further showcase a musician who took delight in throwing expectations straight out the window.

Customer Reviews

This Album Rocks!

Woot! (FIRST post!) Anyways, this is the first time i've heard this group and they are excellent! Tip of the hat to the Thelonius Monk Trio!


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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