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Monk Alone: The Complete Solo Studio Recordings of Thelonious Monk 1962-1968 [Original recording remastered]

Thelonious Monk, T. S. MonkAudio CD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)

Price: $16.47 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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 : Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
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MP3 Music, 37 Songs, 1998 $16.99  
Audio CD, Original recording remastered, 1998 $16.47  

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Monk Alone: The Complete Solo Studio Recordings of Thelonious Monk 1962-1968 + Alone in San Francisco (OJC Remasters) + Thelonious Himself: Keepnews Collection
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 9, 1998)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: Sony
  • ASIN: B000007NAC
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #81,652 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Body And Soul (Remake Take 2)
2. Just A Gigolo (Take 1)
3. Don't Blame Me (Remake Take 1)
4. Nice Work If You Can Get It (Take 3)
5. Memories Of You (Take 1)
6. I Love You Sweetheart Of All My Dreams (Take 2)
7. I Surrender, Dear (Take 1)
8. Sweet And Lovely (Take 2)
9. Everything Happens To Me (Take 3)
10. I Should Care (Take 1)
See all 18 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. 'Round Midnight (Take 2)
2. Between The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea (Take 1)
3. This Is My Story, This Is My Song (Take 1)
4. Introspection (Take 4)
5. Darn That Dream (Take 1)
6. Body And Soul (Remake Take 3)
7. Body And Soul (Take 3)
8. Don't Blame Me (Take 1)
9. I Love You Sweetheart Of All My Dreams (Take 1)
10. Sweet And Lovely (Take 1)
See all 19 tracks on this disc

Editorial Reviews

Fact: Thelonious Monk is one of the most important composers--jazz or otherwise--of this century. Not only did Monk help invent the music we now call be-bop, but he also introduced jazz music to the avant-garde, setting the table for a tradition unmatched in American music. Monk's legacy is unquestioned and his melodies echo through almost every genre of music to this day. Yet one thing Thelonious never got enough credit for was his piano playing. Monk developed a halting, stop-start style as unique and singular as his compositions. While melodies seemed to drop from Monk's fingers, he also spiced his tunes with left-field plinks and plunks, blistering right-handed runs and thunderous left handed slams.

On Monk Alone: The Complete Solo Studio Recordings of Thelonious Monk 1962-1968, a two-CD collection, the genius of Monk is plainly evident. Monk can ache with what he called "ugly beauty" while also adding his own inventions to standards. The highlight of this collection, besides the wonderful liner notes and detailed discographic info, are 14 previously unreleased tracks, including alternate takes of Monk masterpieces like "Ruby, My Dear," "Introspection," and "Ask Me Now." A must-have. --S. Duda

Product Description

Monk and a piano-that's jazz at its purest. And with 14 previously unreleased tracks-plus many never-before-seen photos-this is like a whole new solo Monk album! This 2-disc set features stellar solo versions of Round Midnight; Monk's Point; Dinah; Body and Soul; Sweet and Lovely; These Foolish Things , and more. It's a Monk dream come true!

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
53 of 56 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Blue Label May 21, 2005
Format:Audio CD
When Richard Cook and Brian Morton reviewed this set for their Penguin Guide to Jazz, they wrote: "This is an essential purchase, uncategorizable and resistant to the adjectival attentions of critics." I agree completely.

A lot has been said about this music, and about its value and appeal. I think most critics miss the point. You can't compare this to solo recordings by Bill Evans or Oscar Peterson. There's no point of reference. This is thick, heavy music. It isn't meant to be played for an hour, straight through. It's something else.

Sit down with a pair of headphones, and play two or three tracks. Come back tomorrow, and play a couple more. That's the only way to listen to this music. There's incredible depth and dimension here, and you'll discover new beauty on each pass. This isn't water, and it sure as hell isn't beer. It's Blue Label scotch. It's meant for slow sipping.

Monk was unique. He was a genius, but he was also on a completely different wavelength. I would never disparage albums like the It Club -- but there's no question Monk was at his best when sitting alone at a piano, unfettered by the burden of bandmates. The result was his vision, pure and unfiltered, and music which easily stands beside Bach and Beethoven.
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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
Quick now, do you really think you'll like two hours and twenty minutes of SOLO piano by anybody? If anybody can pull it off, it's Monk. He makes each note distinct, and does not waste any. Quirky yet lovely, most of his time here on this double CD is spent at medium or slow tempo. I thought I liked his accompanied work much better, at first. But as you listen to these songs, they do indeed become endearing. If as some reviewers say, his earlier Riverside box of solo work is even better, it must be really something. I have eight or nine Monk CD's now, and I have enjoyed them all and don't want to weed any from my collection. As a bonus here, "Monk Alone" has an excellent booklet. Read half-a-dozen reviews here, check your music budget, and take the plunge. Although I'm 58, I've only been immersed in Monk and John Coltrane for two years. It's about damn time, and I have enjoyed both artists tremendously. I wish I had been hip enough to have been a fan when I was young and they were still alive. I grew up less than an hour from NYC, where these two played in clubs regularly. When I had dough, I went to Broadway shows instead of jazz clubs. At the time, I thought that was the smarter use of my limited funds, but from the viewpoint of upper middle age, I wish I had been a bit more adventurous. Thank goodness, at least we have the discs, to know what we missed.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great and sometimes difficult music that grows on you. October 12, 2004
Format:Audio CD
This is a big collection of Monk solo material, culled from his Columbia tenure and the albums "Monk's Dream," "Criss Cross," "It's Monk's Time," "Straight, No Chaser" and the rarity, "Always Know." It also contains every song on the "Solo Monk" LP as well as 14 unreleased tracks and rejected takes, many of which will only be of interest to collectors and completists.

Some reviewers have said that this stuff doesn't catch Monk during his peak period, that he doesn't have the spark he possessed during his Riverside period. And I would totally agree with that. But at the same time, I find that the limitations and obstructions he faced deepen this music to a degree. If one wants snap and polish, I think "Alone in San Francisco" is the choice to make (and, to my knowledge though I could be completely wrong, that's the only Riverside album currently available that's composed entirely of solo performances). If one wants an introduction to Monk's music, I'd suggest "Plays Duke Ellington" or one of the Blue Note releases.

But if you want to hear what becomes of a master, and you have the patience to let a big collection of music grow on you, "Monk Alone" is worth the time and effort.

It took me a while to fit into this collection. But I think it's good music to be alone with, it's just you and him. I like to work and write to this music, it's intense but quiet. It's the sound of an artist laboring by himself.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, haunting, and elegant. July 6, 1998
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Monk is among the most moving piano players ever to stroke the keys. After listening to these CDs, I find it difficult even to listen to other pianists because they seem patronizing; they simply play too many notes. Monk's brilliance lies in the fact that you cannot listen to him passively. His masterful use of silence and surprise forces you to become entwined in the melody, to enter the song. Two CDs absolutely full of genuine artistry. (If you want an great example, check out "Don't Blame Me" on the first CD).
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Solo Piano....By MONK! April 6, 2005
A Kid's Review
Format:Audio CD
My first introduction to Monk after the Ken Burns Jazz cd set was the Columbia years box and when I saw that there were songs of just Thelonious Monk playing piano, I was thinking foolishly and kind of blew them off, thinking it would get boring.....BOY...WAS I WRONG!! Yeah, Monk is that good a pianist. My favorite on this is his solo recording of his most beautiful song, 'Round Midnight, from November of 1968, is so hauntingly beautiful. It sounds more raggy than the Miles Davis version and has a beautiful ending. He had a sort of raggy swing to his piano playing and that was one of the reasons this recording is just about as entertaining as it would be if he had the Rouse, or even, dare I say, the Coltrane quartet with him. I wouldn't really advise this one if you are new to Monk or jazz. If you are new to Monk and are on a budget, get Thelonious Monk with John Coltrane or Monk's Dream, but if you are a big Monk fan like me or just a lover of beautiful piano playing, jazz or even classical, get this, and no need to thank me because you will probably be speechless anyway.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Autistic son loves Thadelonis!
My son is autistic and responds to music, especially jazz. He really likes this album. It's great for getting him to sleep during those times he has melt downs.
Published 5 months ago by Michelle Heath
4.0 out of 5 stars shuffle monk shuffle
The music gets 5 stars. It's monk playing solo. It's beautiful.

Unfortunately, this is one of the most confusing reissues I've ever dealt with. Read more
Published 7 months ago by smurdge
5.0 out of 5 stars good buy
As someone who likes Blues & R&R guitar, I wanted to learn some about Jazz years ago. I found this CD set at the library and could not stop listening to it. Read more
Published 8 months ago by PBin
5.0 out of 5 stars Great find
I am a Monk fan and I thought this was great - he doesn't need the musicians to communicate his art.
Published 11 months ago by droidle3
5.0 out of 5 stars Like Salt Peanuts
You just can't stop listening. 23 solos tracks you've loved since you first discovered Monk, plus 14 you've never heard before. Read more
Published 13 months ago by W. A. Turner
3.0 out of 5 stars Monk's sound
The best way to listen to Monk's unmistakeble sound on piano. This said, the compositions are not given the right relevance. The succession of the different takes results boring.
Published 13 months ago by Claudio Parodi
ELLINGTON, Duke. Piano in the Foreground. Columbia. 2009; orig. 1961. $7.78.
DE, p; Aaron Bell, b; Sam Woodyard, dr.

TATUM, Art. Piano Starts Here. Columbia. Read more
Published 14 months ago by David Keymer
3.0 out of 5 stars Five star performance, two star remastering
Imagine my excitement - 2 hours of solo Monk, some of which, I'd never heard. Then bitter disappointment, on the first track (Body & Soul), and many of the others. The problem? Read more
Published on August 21, 2010 by Tubular Tom
3.0 out of 5 stars Artistic control
Neither the artist nor the producer considered most of these takes to be good enough to be released. Read more
Published on July 24, 2007 by J. R. Valery
5.0 out of 5 stars Most Expressive.
He strikes deeply, full of sauce and elegant on the groove; piano singing strong, sweet and loving with all the sobering clarity of one who blends all tonalities into the broadest... Read more
Published on November 6, 2005 by Michael F. Hopkins
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