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Comment: 100% guaranteed delivery with Fulfillment By Amazon. This cover has a visible crease or bend. The spine of this book is clean and solid. This is a former Library book with normal library stamping and stickers. Purchase of this item will benefit the Friends of the Houston Public Library.
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Thelonious Monk: His Life and Music Paperback – March, 1997

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This comprehensive study of the noted jazz pianist and composer is a revised edition of a book first published in Germany in 1987. It is divided into three sections: a biography of Monk (1917-1982); an examination of his pianistic and compositional style; and an exhaustive, annotated catalogue of his recordings. Monk, introverted and given to bouts of depression, had few interests other than music, and his biography does not make exciting reading. The meat of the book is in Fitterling's insightful analyses of his subject's distinctive pianistic sound, his personal style as an ensemble player and his talent as a composer. Fitterling continues his assessment of Monk's musical style in the catalogue, where he includes critical commentary for each entry. He also lists films and videos relating to Monk's life. Two appendices--a guide to the multitude of Monk recordings and a glossary of musical expressions--will be helpful to those new to Monk's work. Fitterling, who lives in Germany, is a jazz journalist as well as a jazz percussionist and vibe player. This is his first book. Photos not seen by PW.

Copyright 1997 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Thelonious Monk, Dizzy Gillespie, and Charlie Parker were pioneers in an original form of music called bebop that reclaimed jazz as a primarily African American form of cultural expression in the 1940s. Monk in particular, with his shades, goatee, and ever-changing array of unusual headgear, came to epitomize bopper cool. Even in his novel music, Monk's originality stood out. Unfortunately, emotional problems, run-ins with the law, and a reputation for unreliability derailed his career just as he was reaching his creative height, and he spent the last years of his life watching television. Fitterling, a jazz performer, producer, and journalist, has done a fine job in recounting the development of Monk's style, his contributions as a composer, and the influence of his music. But the reader interested in learning what made this complex and unique artist tick will be left wanting more. For music collections.?Dan Bogey, Clearfield Cty. P.L. Fed., Curwensville, Pa.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Berkeley Hills Books; Revised edition (March 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0965377415
  • ISBN-13: 978-0965377416
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,590,771 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 23, 2001
Format: Paperback
This book is really good...especially if you own or plan to collect Monks music.The first part gives a brief(100 pages)bio(more expanded in gourse's "straight no chaser")a decent overveiw.The second part explains more or less "the Monk sound"his style in understandable terms(terms are also explained.) The third part is the best...monk on disk(and vinyl) and all sessions and personnel(all confirmed) in chronological order.Very excellent if you are obsessed like i am about this kind of stuff. It covers all this extremely well with much commentary.In depth even. If you got Monk on record this is a great reference.The focus on the music is its strong point.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By R. J. Marsella on February 23, 2004
Format: Paperback
This is a very well written concise biography of Monk that is comprehensive enough to foster an understanding of his influences and the music and cultural scene in which he emerged. It is thoroughly researched and doesn't bog down in trivial detail the way many iconographic bios do. About one third of the book consists of a comprhensive discography which is notable for it's objectivity in reviewing all of Monk's recordings. This would be very helpful to anyone looking to begin or expand their Monk collection. The musicians that played with Monk in various sessions are all covered and the circumstances surrounding most of the recordings are adequately described.
All in all I think this is a wonderful reference for the jazz lover and a good overview of the life and work of one of the all-time great jazz musicians.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 13, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Only about a third of this volume is alloted for Monk's life--which is not bad; the rest is about the various recordings he made.
You get enough to wet your appetite. Makes you want to look for something more indepth, etc. Worth buying, though, as it is written by a genuine fan of Monk and the whole jazz scene. I don't regret getting it.
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