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Alone in San Francisco (OJC Remasters) [Original recording remastered]

Thelonious MonkAudio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

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o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
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Biography

As influential as he proved to be during the final decades of his lifetime, it appears that Thelonious Sphere Monk (1917-82) has only gained greater stature in the years since his death. Once considered too eccentric and complex to be appreciated by listeners and other musicians, Monk has become a standard of excellence, as both composer and soloist, for those who seek to extend the jazz ... Read more in Amazon's Thelonious Monk Store

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Alone in San Francisco (OJC Remasters) + Solo Monk
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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: #44,321 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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)

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!

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Relaxed and Rockin' 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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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
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
5.0 out of 5 stars I don't know why I missed this one earlier 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
5.0 out of 5 stars Monk Almost sounds melodic 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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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I Can't Even Explain It December 1, 2012
By Max
Format:MP3 Music|Verified Purchase
I am enthralled by this recording. The intimacy I experienced is painful and joyous all at once. I have listened to it over and over and hear new things every time - something that usually takes 20 years of living with a recording to have happen.

There is nothing cerebral, or astute or learned to say about this. To me, it is a gift. If you buy it, I wish you a similar experience.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely gorgeous (and an essential album) 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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Second Riverside Solo Session a Mellow Sibling to the First
In the course of his long recording career, Monk made exactly five solo piano records (as well as scores of solo SONGS, of course, on nearly all of his records). Read more
Published 4 months ago by Disink
5.0 out of 5 stars Piano Blues
There is nothing like hearing Monk play solo in an empty theater, as this CD clearly attests. Definitive Versions of songs like "Everything Happens to Me", "You Took... Read more
Published 4 months ago by excellent
5.0 out of 5 stars What Monk Thunk
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... Read more
Published 21 months ago by mistakesweremade
5.0 out of 5 stars thelonious alone in san francisco
this is a great sound track, I could listen to it for hours and never get tired of it,thelonious at his best
Published on August 13, 2012 by wags
5.0 out of 5 stars The perfect piano Jazz album
Thelonious Monk / Thelonious alone in San Francisco / Solo piano:

This masterpiece, recorded in 1959, became a fan favorite, a teaching tool for every student of Jazz... Read more
Published on January 17, 2012 by J. Bynum
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful music
This is my only Thelonius Monk album. I thought it was great. I loved the songs as well as the audio quality.
Published on July 15, 2011 by William Warhurst
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Circle
I have 6 CD's of various Monk tunes and can say that as a solo album, this not only shows him in good form but the sound is clear and fidelious(word,sp?). Read more
Published on July 3, 2011 by Mario A. Grillo
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