Thelonious Monk: The Very Best Of

TheloniousMonk_TheVeryBestOfWell-picked introduction to mid-50s Monk

Concord’s 10-track disc provides an introduction to Monk’s mid-50s recordings for the Prestige and Riverside labels. Collected here are prime examples of Monk in mid-career as an iconoclastic pianist, writer of jazz standards, and a band leader who attracted spectacular players to his sessions. Among the notable compositions are “Blue Monk,” “Ruby, My Dear” and “’Round Midnight,” and the sessions are highlighted by the talents of Percy Heath, Art Blakey, Clark Terry, Sonny Rollins, Max Roach, Paul Chambers, John Coltrane, Coleman Hawkins, Roy Haynes and many more. This is neither a full-telling of Monk’s career, which also included key recordings on Blue Note and Columbia, nor of his entire six year run on Prestige and Riverside (the original albums of which are mostly still in print); but for an introduction to Monk’s music, this is a good place to start. [©2013 Hyperbolium]

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