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!
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