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Monk's Music: Thelonious Monk and Jazz History in the Making Paperback – December 5, 2007
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This is a book grounded in the academic tradition--yes, it uses big words and knotty concepts. It requires focus and attention to read. On the other hand, if you are willing to put in a bit of effort, the average music fan will find much of interest, and your effort will be repaid amply.
Solis sets about examining some very interesting questions, like "how does someone become a Jazz icon?" "In an evolving musical genre, where slavish reproduction of a musical work is not valued and is indeed a source of disrespect, how does the ongoing evolution of a set of musical works take life and substance?"
If you are expecting a biography of Monk, or a simple analysis of his music, you will be disappointed--although the book does provide an excellent synopsis of Mon's life to provide contest, and also provides lucid analysis and commentary on the music.
Solis gives life and context to his discussion by incorporating the results of extensive interviews with musicians who played with Monk, a primary resource that has depth.
A unique and interesting book, I recommend it to anyone interested in jazz, music, and culture, and of course anyone interested in Monk and his music.