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Thelonious Monk Greatest Hits


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Editorial Reviews

Thelonious Monk "Greatest Hits" vinyl long playing record. Riverside Records, RLP 9421, stereophonic, microgroove, recorded in 1962. Side One: Little Rootie Tootie / Jackie-ing / Ruby, My Dear. Side Two: Brilliant Corners / 'Round Midnight / Off Minor.

Product Details

  • Vinyl
  • Label: Riverside
  • ASIN: B00195N3TA
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,141,526 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By William E. Adams on January 20, 2003
Format: Audio CD
An earlier reviewer thinks it is disrespectful to Monk's other albums to create a "Greatest Hits." I disagree, because some beginners on low budgets need an entry-level CD to a musician this prolific and complex. I quickly learned in the late 50's and early 60's that I preferred my own tastes to someone else's selections, after investing in several "Greatest Hits" collections. I can't imagine anyone who buys this one either being unhappy with it, or ending here. You need to know this about Thelonious: he recycled his favorite compositions time and again, using different combos and soloists, leading with the piano or receding as he felt the spirit. "Epistrophy" on this CD takes only two-and-a-half minutes using TEN players. It takes three minutes on "Best of the Blue Note Years" with only four players. The version on "Greatest Hits" is from 1963 and the other one from 1948. Other tunes common to both albums, 15 years apart, are "Well You Needn't" and "Misterioso" and "Round Midnight" and "Ruby My Dear" and "Straight, No Chaser." Yet these are quite different recordings. I happen to like the '60's versions you are about to buy better than the '40's first recordings, but others will differ. It's comparing Mercedes to BMW, even though the versions were "written" by the same guy, and performed by the same cat. "Ruby My Dear" on Blue Note takes three minutes in a trio version. It takes twice as long on the Columbia disc although Monk plays it solo. "Well You Needn't" takes three minutes on Blue Note in '48 with a trio, and nearly 13 minutes on "Greatest Hits" with a quartet. You get the idea.Read more ›
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 27, 2004
Format: Audio CD
The 2 stars review is nonsense. I first picked this album up pon vinyl when I was a teenager (about 14). I was curious about it because of a version of Well You Needn't I had on an album by Kenny Burrell. "Greatest Hits" may have been a silly title for any release by Monk, particularly in the 60's. But the music it contained captured my attention and drew me to seek out more of Monk's music. Though I now own most of the albums from which these selections came, I still like the sequence in which they appear here. I purchased it again, when it came out on CD and was delighted to have it. Not a bad song or performance in the lot. Great as most of the Monk albums are, there is the occasional clunker that I skip at every play. Not so here. The Ruby My Dear gets me today, just as it did when I was a 14 year old kid and hearing it (and being amazed) for the first time.
If your curious about Monk, jump in right here, the water is fine (and plenty deep).
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Chris Simpson on June 29, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Although I haven't listened to enough different recordings of Monk to compare the quality of the tracks found here to other Monk albums, I was absolutely wowed by the quality of the music. This isn't the kind of "good music" that you have to try hard to appreciate. It just sails along through the afternoon with you, and it definitely had me up dancing and grooving along at some points. Best of all, it got me out of a rut that I'd been in with my poetry. Jazz, great jazz, should have that effect. To try to pick my favorite tracks would be ridiculous; they're all sublime. Perhaps the ultimate compliment is that listening to this CD made me want to get my hands on more of his music. Bravo to a true musical genius, Thelonious Monk!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By finulanu on July 29, 2005
Format: Audio CD
I LOVE this album! It's a great live collection, containing classics Well You Needn't (My favorite Monk tune), Mysterioso (an awesome title), 'Round Midnight (Any jazz fan should know that one), Blue Monk (Another great title!) and Straight, No Chaser (My second-favorite Monk number). The shorter numbers aren't as good as the "Big Five", Ruby My Dear is a slightly weak piano solo, Crepsullie (or whatever it is) with Nellie and Epistrophy (Two more great titles!) are okay. Epistrophy is too quick.

I wish Ask Me Now and Thelonius had been included, but this is a great record.
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