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Straight No Chaser Import


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Vinyl, Import, February 26, 2013
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Frequently Bought Together

Straight No Chaser + Monk's Dream + Time Out
Price for all three: $44.57

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Product Details

  • Vinyl (February 26, 2013)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Music on Vinyl
  • ASIN: B0058NXVDW
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #259,367 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

This disc pulls double duty as both a motion picture soundtrack as well as a great primer on the multi-faceted Thelonious Monk. Although the 1988 documentary covers Monk's entire life, a healthy portion of the film centers on some amazing footage circa late 1967 and early 1968 from Michael Blackwood and sibling Christian Blackwood, who produced a documentary that aired only once on West German television. Although much of the footage incorporates this era, the soundtrack -- both in the film as well as on this disc -- offers a wide spectrum of previously unissued performances. Two of the disc's most intriguing tracks -- ''Pannonica'' and ''Lulu's Back in Town'' -- are Monk solos dating back from the late summer of 1956. They were donated to the project by none other than the Baroness Pannonica de Koenigswarter, Monk's patron and friend since 1954. ''Pannonica'' is of particular note, as this may be the earliest known recording. It is beautiful in its accidental regency. The flourishes take on more portents and the chord progressions that normally sound difficult sound impossible here. The studio sessions are among Monk's last with this quartet. They include the title track and a rehearsal and final take of ''Ugly Beauty'' dating back to the 1968 Straight, No Chaser recordings. These are documented in the film as well, where there is likewise a more graphic example of the stymied ''mutual incomprehension'' that would ultimately plague the relationship between Monk and his producer Teo Macero. The 1967 European tour tracks -- ''Epistrophy,'' ''Evidence,'' and ''I Mean You'' are at the literal as well as figurative center of this disc. The musical crosstalk between Monk and Charlie Rouse (tenor sax) is vividly captured. Straight, No Chaser: Thelonious Monk is a fine primer as well as audio documentary.

Customer Reviews

This quartet was one of the best of the entire 60's decade.
Donnie
Charlie Rouse's warm round tenor remains with Coltrane, and Johnny Griffin as Monk's most complimentary soloists.
Amazon Customer
Monk himself is great throughout and the song selection is varied.
B. Bowman

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

57 of 58 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on May 25, 2000
Format: Audio CD
This cd release is a showcase for Monk's last great group from the late 60's. Monk's piano is backed by the painfully underrated Charlie Rouse on tenor, Larry Gales on bass, and Ben Riley on drums. Monk's soloing is inspired and creative throughout. He swings hard on the title track, as well as the little know gem that opens the album, Locomotion. Of the two solo pieces, This is My Story, This is My Song stands out as a sweet soulful display of Monk's unique touch and harmonic sense. Charlie Rouse's warm round tenor remains with Coltrane, and Johnny Griffin as Monk's most complimentary soloists. His robust tone on the title track and Locomotion is countered by his sensitive interpritations of I didn't Know About You and Japanese Folk Song (Kojo No Tsuki). More beneficial to the listener than the standard "bonus tracks" are the restored bass and drum solos. Riley is a propulsive soloist, his bursting fills complimenting Monk's chording perfectly. Riley explores his instrument's range fully as a soloist and as an accompanist, developing consistenly interesting solos. The musicians are completely comfortable with the material, and each performance is definative, easily rewarding repeated listenings. The music benifits from superior recording quality as well, it sounds warm and full even on my $20 computer speakers! This is the first jazz cd I ever purchased, and remains a personal favorite. It not only is a perfect indroduction to Monk and Jazz, but will reward and delight long time fans of the man and the music. Highly Recommened!
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46 of 56 people found the following review helpful By Micah Newman on November 21, 2002
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is a good album with lots of fine Monk tunes and should certainly be picked up by any serious Monk fan.
That said, I wouldn't direct anyone here first for the most essential Monk experience. Some bands can pull off long (8, 11, 14... minute) numbers where every second seems essential and you wouldn't cut any of it. Here, however, the length of some of these songs comes off as kind of undisciplined, and just seem like kind of extended blowing sessions or practice woodsheds. The original release edited some passages of these songs for length; I wonder if in the original recording sessions the band was instructed by the producer to just play out long, and the editing would make the final product.
Still, you could do a lot worse than long undisciplined blowing sessions with Thelonious Monk. Even so, I prefer the perfectly-constructed and well-balanced _Monk's Dream_ and _Criss-Cross_ (particularly the former) over this, which I personally find a bit hard to stick with all the way through. Between the extended song lengths and extra tracks, this CD gives more of a feel of a vault release of studio sessions than a single, cohesive album. It's not that I'm overly short of patience or some kind of jazz philistine; it's just the way it strikes me. I'll still get dinged on popularity points for having a minority opinion; oh, well.
*That* said, this record does have some of Charlie Rouse's (tenor sax) best work. On this one he finally gives up that one lick that he plays over and over in all the other Monk records I've heard with Rouse on it, and really seems to find his voice. And you've gotta love those irresistible Monk tunes like "We See" (and "Eronel" from Criss-Cross) that seem to have been written specially for Charlie Rouse; he captures the playful, light spirit so well.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful By "dc1208" on May 9, 2001
Format: Audio CD
If you love Jazz or just love great musical compositions, then Straight, No Chaser will become an instant favorite. Even if you have heard Straight, No Chaser, years ago, this updated reissue is something very special to the ears. Beautiful playing all the way around. Recording quality that will make you feel very good and tunes that will put bounce in your heart. Timeless Jazz that will quickly confirm why some people say that in Jazz, and music in general, never has there been anyone like Thelonius Monk. The other great thing about this CD is that it is a great value. Here is a whole lot of music and not a single cut will you want to skip over. Pop this in your player and be pleased.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Arthur V Ciampi on April 1, 2003
Format: Audio CD
I first started listening to "The Monk" is the late 1950's and I have had the original vinyl. It is classic Monk at his best and with the added dimension of SACD you can appreciate his talent and that of his superb side men. I would highly recommend this to anyone who wishes to hear a classic jazz album that has lost nothing over the years and presents a timeless jazz message. If I could give this album 10 stars I would do so.
Art Ciampi
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By spiral_mind on May 13, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Whenever I try to describe Thelonious Monk I keep coming back to, of all people, Douglas Adams (a former English writer, for those that don't know). Why? Despite all the obvious differences they shared a charming sense of humor, a skewed view of the world and each had a quirky approach to their craft that made them distinct from everyone else out there. Adams could take a story down every path imaginable all at once, and somehow wrap everything up beautifully, unconfusingly and with no loose ends. And that, for lack of any better analogy, is the same beauty of Monk's music. Where others breezed through solid scales and ear-pleasing harmonies, he had a way of plunking down unexpected notes and unusual harmonics that nobody else would have thought of. For me - and I'm sure I'm not the only one - after becoming used to the sound of piano virtuosi like Herbie Hancock and McCoy Tyner, an introduction to Monk's quirky block chords and style of hitting 'wrong' notes was a jarring experience. But there was a method behind everything the guy did, and once you get used to the oddness of its approach, everything sounds exactly as it should be. It grooves and swings as easily as the smoothest ballad, and it sounds as if every note is just where it should be after all.
Straight, No Chaser. The album title may imply something straightfoward and simple, but as always with Thelonious, the music is nothing of the sort. I'm not nearly familiar enough with the Monk catalogue to say how this disc ranks, but it's a stellar example of fine bebop on its own.. and a pretty good introduction to the man's work, if you're curious but don't want to settle for a compilation arbitrarily assembled by, for example, Ken Burns.
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