Genius Of Modern Music: Vol. 1

July 31, 2001 | Format: MP3

$13.49
Song Title
Time
Popularity  
30
1
2:55
30
2
3:04
30
3
3:02
30
4
3:01
30
5
3:03
30
6
2:58
30
7
3:00
30
8
3:09
30
9
2:59
30
10
3:20
30
11
3:03
30
12
3:13
30
13
3:03
30
14
3:07
30
15
2:56
30
16
2:42
30
17
2:57
30
18
3:10
30
19
2:45
30
20
3:13
30
21
2:45
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Product Details

  • Original Release Date: July 31, 2001
  • Release Date: July 31, 2001
  • Label: Blue Note Records
  • Copyright: (C) 2001 Blue Note Records
  • Record Company Required Metadata: Music file metadata contains unique purchase identifier. Learn more.
  • Total Length: 1:03:25
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B000SYONB0
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #31,817 Paid in Albums (See Top 100 Paid in Albums)

Customer Reviews

The remastering on these albums is excellent.
Gregory Herlevi
I can only suggest you pick up "Genius Of Modern Music, Volumes 1 and 2" together instead of "The Complete Blue Note Recordings."
Transfigured Knight
Monk is to jazz what Velazquez is to painting!!!!
B.A. Slide John

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By G B on November 7, 2001
Format: Audio CD
These 1947 recordings are among the earliest documents we have of piano genius and jazz pioneer Thelonious Sphere Monk. It's hard to believe that he was finally hailed with acclaim in 1957 for ideas he'd had 10 years earlier! When listening to these tracks, you should keep a couple of things in mind. First, recording technology wasn't too hot in 1947, and you can't expect the pristine, Rudy Van Gelder sound quality of 50s jazz. (Though compared to the 89 reissue, this Van Gelder edition sounds phenomenal.) Second, some of Monk's sidemen on this album didn't understand the new bop style very well, and were even more clueless on Monk's advanced ideas. (Even Art Blakey, one of Monk's best accompanists in the 50s, sounds a little confused here.) But these complaints aside, there's really phenomenal music here; tracks 7-16 (a trio with Blakey and bassist Gene Ramey) are especially marvelous, with classic recordings of Monk staples "Off Minor", "Ruby My Dear", "Well You Needn't" and "Introspection" as well as typically quirky takes on two standards ("April in Paris" and "Nice Work If You Can Get It"). The rest of the tracks are not quite up to the same standard due to the sidemen (Sahib Shihab provides the oddest alto saxophone sound ever on "Monk's Mood") but are still exciting. This set of 21 songs isn't quite as strong as Genius of Modern Music Volume 2, yet definitely essential for the Monk enthusiast.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 16, 1998
Format: Audio CD
These were not the first times Thelonious was recorded but this is a perfect place to begin an appriciation him. Monk would go on to record for Prestige, Riverside (possibly his best work), and Columbia but these are his first important recordings (from '47) and this set contains many classics. There is also an equally valuable second volume (from '52) and both are included in the Blue Note box. This is, however, the best way to cheaply acquaint yourself with Monk. Some of the highlights include the beautiful "Ruby My Dear," Well, You Needn't," and Thelonious' first recording of his bop standard "'Round Midnight," the quintessential "late night" theme. Monk bypasses the usual nostalgic, melancholy interpretation of his song and reveals a more sinister, down-and-out desperation at its' core and the "late night" experience in general.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Michael Stack VINE VOICE on October 3, 2005
Format: Audio CD
I think sometimes first recordings by important artists get more merit than they deserve-- it's a legend after all, this is their formative material, their early works, etc. And in some respect, there's merit to that, but when you have a pioneering artist like Thelonious Monk, you end up with a large disconnect between the other musicians and the leader. Such is the case on much of "Genius of Modern Music, Volume One". Singles recorded in three sessions during October and November of 1947, these are the first recordings by Thelonious Monk as a leader.

The first session featured Monk with a rhythm section of Gene Ramey (on bass) and Art Blakey (on drums) with three horns-- Idrees Sulieman on trumpet, Danny Quebec West on alto sax, and Billy Smith on tenor sax. Four titles were tackled, only two composed by Monk (two were by Ike Quebec, who helped get Monk signed to Blue Note). The horn players, all largely best known for this session, are fairly clueless and turn out earnest but by and large unexciting performances and force Monk into a rather standard comping role. Comparing his playing to his work behind the horn players in the third session on here, the difference is astounding. But by and large, none of these pieces save "Thelonious", go to any strides to really show Monk off as a songwriter or a musician.

The second session finds Monk in a trio setting with Ramey and Blakey. Here, the real value of these recordings begin as many of the things that make Monk what he is come forth, whether he is tackling standards ("Nice Work If You Can Get It" and "April in Paris" both get readings) or originals (such critical pieces as "Ruby My Dear" and "Well You Needn't"), the work is stunning and the performance is breathtaking.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Transfigured Knight on October 28, 2008
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Anyone who collects Thelonious Monk should or probably already owns his Blue Note discography, which didn't really consist of that many recordings. I can only suggest you pick up "Genius Of Modern Music, Volumes 1 and 2" together instead of "The Complete Blue Note Recordings." The sound quality is much better on these single disc collections. The other Blue Note recordings that you should pick up are Sonny Rollins' release simply called "Volume 2" and Monk's "Discovery: Live At The Five Spot" and the newly discovered "Thelonious Monk Quartet with John Coltrane: Live At Carnegie Hall," which is an amazing discovery with superb sound quality. All of these albums you can find at reasonable prices.

"Genius Of Modern Music, Vol. 1" like the second volume, captures Monk at the very beginning of his career. Most of these recordings are rough sketches and aren't quite as defined as his later work for Prestige, Riverside, and Columbia, but they offer an insight into a younger Monk and the listener is treated to some of the most innovative jazz music of all time. You're hearing a young master at work with these recordings.

I consider these Blue Note records essential to jazz fans because they show his beginnings as a unique pianist and composer. They also show how unconventional he was with his use of space, angular melodies, and unorthodox harmonies.

I can't stress how important these Blue Note releases are. If you're a fan of Monk, then you should get your hands on everything this madman has done, but start with these albums.
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