The Record Collection

Thelonious Monk: The Complete Blue Note Recordings

Blue Note CDP 7243 8 30363 2 5 (1994)

Track list:

Disc 1
01 – Humph
02 – Evonce (alt tk)
03 – Evonce
04 – Suburban Eyes
05 – Suburban Eyes (alt tk)
06 – Thelonious
07 – Nice Work If You Can Get It (alt tk)
08 – Nice Work If You Can Get It
09 – Ruby My Dear (alt tk)
10 – Ruby My Dear
11 – Well You Needn’t
12 – Well You Needn’t (alt tk)
13 – April in Paris (alt tk)
14 – April in Paris
15 – Off Minor
16 – Introspection
17 – In Walked Bud
18 – Monk’s Mood
19 – Who Knows
20 – ‘Round Midnight
21 – Who Knows (alt tk)

Disc 2
01 – All The Things You Are
02 – I Should Care (alt tk)
03 – I Should Care
04 – Evidence
05 – Misterioso
06 – Misterioso (alt tk)
07 – Epistrophy
08 – I Mean You
09 – Four In One
10 – Four In One (alt tk)
11 – Criss Cross
12 – Criss Cross (alt tk)
13 – Eronel
14 – Straight No Chaser
15 – Ask Me Now (alt tk)
16 – Ask Me Now
17 – Willow Weep For Me

Disc 3
01 – Skippy
02 – Skippy (alt tk)
03 – Hornin’ In (alt tk)
04 – Hornin’ In
05 – Sixteen (tk 1)
06 – Sixteen (tk 2)
07 – Carolina Moon
08 – Let’s Cool One
09 – I’ll Follow You
10 – Reflections
11 – Misterioso

Disc 4
01 – Crepuscule With Nellie
02 – Trinkle Tinkle
03 – In Walked Bud
04 – I Mean You
05 – Epistrophy

Personnel:

Thelonious Monk – piano
Kenny “Pancho” Hagood – vocals
Lou Donaldson, Sahib Shihab, Danny Quebec West – alto saxophone
Billy Smith , John Coltrane, Lucky Thompson, Sonny Rollins, Bill Smith – tenor saxophone
Idrees Sulieman, Kenny Dorham, George Taitt – trumpet
J.J. Johnson – trombone
John Lewis, Horace Silver – piano
Milt Jackson – vibraphone
Max Roach, Art Blakey, Shadow Wilson – drums

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This 4-CD box offers a chronological compendium of Thelonious Monk’s works as a leader and sideman for Blue Note.
It features all the masters and alternate takes from his breakthrough 1947, ’51 and ’52 sessions; his memorable ’48 and ’57 collaborations with Milt Jackson and Sonny Rollins; and a remarkable home recording of a Five Spot set with Roy Haynes and the emerging tenor titan John Coltrane.

The live Five Spot set captures Monk during one of his long residencies at the Lower East Side bar which served as home during his triumphant return to the NYC club scene.
Coltrane plays with torrential intensity on “Trinkle Tinkle” and controlled grace on “In Walked Bud.”
On the latter, Monk’s solo makes stunning use of space to create tension, ending with celestial two-handed chords, while “I Mean You” is a two-handed self-portrait in rhythm-n-ing.

Monk’s 1948 performances with vibraphonist Milt Jackson rank among the all-time greats in jazz.
They never play the theme directly on “Evidence,” but as a series of spooky, skeletal echoes in which the melody is the sum total of their rhythmic abstractions.
The clash of intervals on his masterful blues “Misterioso” is even more ghostly, as Monk and Jackson play ping-pong with the melody, while Monk’s secondary theme on “Epistrophy” emphasizes the percussive bell-like timbre of the vibes.
The joyous “I Mean You” is Monk at his most song-like–singing, strumming and soaring over Shadow Wilson’s supple Kansas City 4/4 pulse with the bluesy elan of Charlie Christian.
And Monk’s 1957 performances of “Reflections” with Sonny Rollins, Paul Chambers and Art Blakey point out the enormous influence the composer had over the tenor colossus in matters of time, tone, tempo and thematic development.
—cduniverse
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