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Brilliant Corners: The Music Of Thelonious Monk [Original recording remastered]

Thelonious Monk, Bill HolmanAudio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)


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Audio CD, Original recording remastered, 1997 --  

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Frequently Bought Together

Brilliant Corners: The Music Of Thelonious Monk + Hommage + The Bill Holman Band Live
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  • Hommage $16.91
  • The Bill Holman Band Live $16.98


Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 13, 1997)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: Independent Nat'l Di
  • ASIN: B000003MNQ
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #201,962 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Straight, No Chaser
2. Behsha Swing
3. Thelonious
4. Round Midnight
5. Bye Ya
6. Misterioso
7. Friday The 13th
8. Rhythm-a-ning
9. Ruby, My Dear
10. Brilliant Corners

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Willis Leonard Holman innovates again! May 11, 2000
Format:Audio CD
This is a wild album. Even if you are familiar with the music of Thelonius Monk, get ready for plenty of surprises. All of the charts are recent save "Rhythm-A-Ning" which dates from the late '70's, though you'd hardly know it.
Bill's arrangements have always managed to reward both critical listeners and the less sophisticated alike, with intricate counterpoint, rhythmic subtlety, advanced harmonies, and rich timbral shadings coexisting with readily apparent form and swinging forward motion. This recording is perhaps a bit more challenging than most big band outings, Holman's included, but well worth the attention of open ears and minds.
From the opening cut "Straight No Chaser", a popular small group tune but rarely found in big band books, we realize soon we're not in Kansas anymore. The line itself eventually puts in an appearance to great effect near the end. The liner notes suggest influences from Bartok at work, although I'm not so sure. It works splendidly in any case.
There are many other highlights: the melody of "'Round Midnight" stated initially by bass clarinet, played with great expressiveness by Bob Efford; many fine solos including Bill Perkins heard on alto, Ron Stout and Bob Summers sharing trumpet solo duties, and Pete Christlieb's ever exciting tenor.
But the main rewards for me are in the writing which continues to amaze, nowhere less than the final and title track. Bill Holman's creativity and daring show no sign of flagging and should inspire us all. Thanks to all involved, and especially JVC, for enabling a project like this to happen. Highly recommmended.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Brilliant" is right! October 20, 2002
Format:Audio CD
Few arrangers have dealt with Monk's music, and none have treated it so exceptionally as Bill Holman. The liner notes for the CD are right on: the previous big band treatments of Monk's music have simply been orchestrations of Monk's solos, plus space for new soloists. Bill Holman, however, does what a true jazz arranger should do: be faithful to the composer, yet inject new life into the music. It's 100% Thelonius Monk and 100% Bill Holman. The performance by Holman's band is amazing. The recording quality is among the best I've ever heard. You will keep this one in your CD player for a long time, and won't be able to get enough!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Further Adventures in Progressive Explorations May 14, 2002
Format:Audio CD
To begin, I've never had a refined enough ear to fully appreciate Monk, despite my untutored appreciation for the vast innovations and expansions he brought into jazz. Further, I was somewhat apprehensive upon opening this disc--it was the only Holman in the store when I was first motivated to get into him, having heard on the radio a couple of tracks from another album that truly hooked me. My first hearing of this disc was one of the most genuinely apocalyptic experiences of my life, so addictive in its multi-textured layerings of sound, so indefatigably passionate in its execution, so precise, so together, so perfect in every way. In the past I've noted my general difficulty in listening to a disc straight through, but this was one of those rare moments in which I could not touch the previous or next track button on my remote--it was that mesmerizing a listen.
I continue to think of Bill Holman as the uncrowned king of contemporary large ensemble music, and in retrospect, the success of Natalie Cole's "Unforettable" album, arranged and conducted by Holman, should never have seemed a surprize. My only complaint about Holman is that it's been too long since his last production. I've tried to search for more of his stuff , but it just ain't out there. Although my life is greatly enriched by his few albums, I just wish there were more coming from him. I probably listen to something by him every day, and I really can't say that about too many, if any, other artists.
My sentiments above duly registered, I also love this album. Not particularly sympathetic to avant-gardist "blue" notes, I was enthralled by the "tonal counterpoints," even more by the relentlessly perfect sense of rhythm and timing.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Masterpiece September 28, 2006
Format:Audio CD
This is a straight-up masterpiece.

If you are in the least open-minded to big band jazz, this is worth tracking down. (I found it in the public library...can you say Inter-Library Loan?) I don't know what this XRCD technology is that JVC uses here, but it sounds gorgeous in my ordinary 10-year-old Marantz CD player, and it should be illegal to shrink these tracks down to mp3. The band plays superbly, with energy and touch, and the arrangements are as good as anything Gil Evans, or whoever you want to name, ever did.

It might not be good driving music, and it's definitely NOT good background music, but if you have a room where you've got a listening chair properly positioned between two pretty decent speakers, you really should take this disc for a spin. Your system will love you for it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Recomendo October 10, 2009
Format:Audio CD
Foi o amigo JoFlavio, conspícuo membro do dilucidante blog Charuto Jazz, quem veio com a estória de que Thelonious Monk não sabia tocar piano. São dele as seguintes linhas: "Acompanho a carreira do Monk desde o início da década de 60. Não só como pianista, mas principalmente como compositor. Monk chegou a ser considerado um "pianista menor", talvez pela técnica pobre, que até o impossibilitava de tocar em "up tempo" - se comparado, por exemplo, a um Oscar Peterson, Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, etc. Era nítido o esforço dele em tocar. Sim, como consolo, foi criativo harmonicamente. O grande legado de Monk está nos temas que compôs, de certo modo revolucionários para a época. Como pianista, em minha opinião, não fez escola." Ora, ora. Não demorou um minuto, estava desencadeada uma das maiores polêmicas já suscitadas aqui no Jazzseen, alvoroço geral, acusações gratuitas, ataques de hackers, celeuma, cizânia e crise. Convocamos, às pressas, eu e Reinaldo Santos Neves, Reunião Extraordinária do Clube das Terças, onde o sócio André, especialista em Monk, fora convocado a falar. Um silêncio incômodo sentou-se à mesa do Clube, enquanto todos aguardavam aflitos a definitiva sentença. André disse: "A ênfase no bebop é a improvisação, sendo rara a presença marcante de compositores, caso de Thelonious Monk. Read more ›
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