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Alone in San Francisco (OJC Remasters) Original recording remastered

13 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Original recording remastered, June 14, 2011
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$9.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details Temporarily out of stock. Order now and we'll deliver when available. We'll e-mail you with an estimated delivery date as soon as we have more information. Your account will only be charged when we ship the item. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

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Alone in San Francisco (OJC Remasters) + Solo Monk + Monk's Dream
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Editorial Reviews

This 1959 Riverside solo date, a sequel to Thelonious Himself , found Monk delivering one of his most relaxed, thoughtful, quietly moving performances. Two takes of There's Danger in Your Eyes, Cherie join Blue Monk; Round Lights; Ruby, My Dear; Bluehawk; Remember , and more. A must for Monk fans!

1. Blue Monk
2. Ruby, My Dear
3. Round Lights
4. Everything Happens to Me
5. You Took the Words Right Out of My Heart
6. Bluehawk
7. Pannonica
8. Remember
9. There's Danger in Your Eyes, Cherie (take 2)
10. Reflections
11. There's Danger in Your Eyes, Cherie (take 1)

Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 14, 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: Original Jazz Classics
  • ASIN: B004X30XQG
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #47,240 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Zimmermann on August 2, 2011
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Musicians prize relaxation in performance and often find it very hard to come by. On this album, you will find Monk in fine form and also far more relaxed than is normal for him. Other solo albums and group outings often proceeded in fits and starts, during his recording sessions -- an example would be the album Thelonious Himself. That album is no less brilliant(it is Monk, after all) but his playing is far less relaxed than it is on Alone in San Francisco. For me, this album vies for all-time favorite #1 status, and the cut "Blue Monk" stands alone as my all-time favorite jazz cut. I hasten to add that I am a sucker for remastering, and this makes my third purchase of this CD; the remastering is excellent!! I am stingy with stars, as a rule, but, in this case, the five-star rating doesn't really do this CD justice.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By hyperbolium on August 27, 2011
Format: Audio CD
Having finely gained fame as a pianist with his recordings on Riverside, Monk took this 1959 timeout from leading group dates to lay down an album of solo sides. Recorded in San Francisco's resonant Fugazi Hall (a spot popular with the Beats, and more recently home to the long-running Beach Blanket Babylon), Monk revisited several of his own classics, as well as several standards. The pianist seems relaxed and playful, entertaining himself as much as playing for the record's eventual audience. Coming off sessions with Gerry Mulligan, Johnny Griffin, and others, Monk takes time to explore the tunes, running through varied interpretations of key phrases and indulging his idiosyncratic approach to tempo.

"Ruby My Dear" sounds as if it's played on a music box cranked by a listener whose love of certain passages causes the intensity and tempo to increase. Monk stretches the piano's dynamics from tender to nearly showy romanticism, exercising both the fluidity with which its notes can be strung together and the percussive ability of its hammers. He lets chords hang in the recording hall's reverberant air, listening as his own playing surrounded him. This rendition of "Blue Monk" may be the best of the many versions he recorded, while several other titles were one-offs, including the original "Round Lights" and the 1929 standard "There's Danger in Your Eyes, Cherie." An earlier take of the latter is included as a bonus track. Concord's latest reissue of this Riverside title was newly remastered in 24-bits by Joe Tarnatino. [©2011 hyperbolium dot com]
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Richard M. Rollo on July 29, 2012
Format: Audio CD
I have a number of Monk solo LP's on both Riverside and Columbia labels. The Riverside LP's were recorded mostly in the late 1950's, as was this one, Alone in San Francisco. I really like his performance of Blue Monk in this set. All of these recordings seemed to be more relaxed and the harmony more fully fleshed out. Monk was really playing well that day. The digital remastering was also well done. The bonus track here, take 1 of "There's Danger in Your Eyes, Cherie" I think is better than the one they released on the original LP. I don't know why I missed this one earlier.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Diana Swanson on April 16, 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I've Listened to Thelonious since I was a little kid in the 50's. This recording is a great foil for some of his more upbeat music. If you're familiar with his work it brings new understanding to his phrasing, he manages to make it sound so melodic, when in fact it's just brillant. Also a great Thelonious starter if you're just getting into the man and his music. The entire album is a joy from start to finish, one of my all time favorite "live" jazz recordings. The quality of the recording is equally good. You can't go wrong with this one.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mike Tarrani HALL OF FAMETOP 10 REVIEWER on September 6, 2013
Format: Audio CD
Gorgeous is probably not the right word, but Monk always defied the 'right' words when it came to describing his musical genius.

If you listen to the sound samples on this page you will hear echoes of his idol Ellington's influence along with some of his mentor Mary Lou Williams. Basically it's Monk, a superbly tuned piano and the acoustics of North Beach's Fugazi Hall. For some reason they all come together in perfect alignment and this record is evidence of how magical a musician and a special venue can be.

Clearly Monk is in his own world. That even comes across in the sound samples, but more so in the full lengths of the tracks. Surprisingly only six of the eleven tracks are his own compositions. More surprisingly (or perhaps intriguingly) tracks 9 and 11 appear to be the only two times Monk played 'There's Danger In Your Eyes, Cherie' on a recording. I've checked a number of discographies and it shows up nowhere else.

The tracks are not in the sequence in which they were performed. Tracks 1 through 5, 7, 9 and 11 were performed on October 20, 1959, and the remaining ones on October 21. In my opinion this is an essential album for Monk fans. It certainly portrays him in a different way than just about any other album I own.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By mistakesweremade on January 5, 2013
Format: Audio CD
Well this dude was the bomb.
That's all there is to it. (Was to it and still is to it.)

Back in the '60s before JFK challenged the USA to go to the moon
and NASA picked those 7 right stuff guys for spacework,
in the '50s Monk was already 'out there.'
In an orbit all his own & 'Houston we don't have a problem.'
'Everything is cool and a-okay but could you maybe top off this scotch glass my man?'

The recording was made in 1959 and music-wise Thelonious Monk was a one man space program.
Stylistically if not technologically unique. The man was already gone.
And not Sputnik or Mercury or Gemini or whatever name you want
was ever gonna catch up to his vector coordinates if they flew supersonic velocity in perpetuity.

'Alone in San Francisco' is Monk's trip - a solo flight.
No other members in the crew & no offense but who needs 'em?
Monk has the yoke and all the dashboard gauge readings look just swell.
But that's not to say 'Alone in San Francisco' is high-speed travel quite just the opposite actually.
Monk throttles the controls down to mellow so you can just settle in real nice enjoy the ride & the view.

This music recording is as relaxed as a thorazine iv-drip and every bit as contemplatively emotive.
Monk wanders all over the place - and keys - on a dozen or so music compositional journeys.
And the listener gets to tag right along sometimes floating sometimes gently
toe-tapping along - a pleasure trip for the mind - and you don't even have
to get up from your lazy chair recliner to go with.

'Alone in San Francisco' Monk's playing is low key and self assured - music to please himself it almost
seems; and why have it any other way?
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