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March 03, 2011

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mel house

I highly recommend Bill Holman's CD Brilliant Corners (the music of Thelonious Monk)for any Monk fans out there.What a band!

Doug Zielke

What's almost as fascinating as Monk's music itself, is when other musicians attempt to interpret it. Some get it, and others....

David

I'm not sure if Nelson's two extra notes were a mistake or just an afterthought. They can't have been the reason that this take wasn't chosen as even Richard Bock could have made a clean splice at this point.
Lucky's solo on the bridge of the 2nd chorus is interesting in that he doesn't really play anything that he mightn't have played in a more traditional setting, yet in this context it sounds perfectly modern and Monkish.

David

My comment above about splicing may be irrelevant as Marc informs me that Blue Note was still recording on disks in '52. (Probably that little coda could still have been edited out when the LP was assembled.) Bob Blumenthal claims that the choice of takes was dictated by a "tentative ensemble return" on this take. I guess everyone hears something different.

Ed Leimbacher

So Blakey dropped bombs, and Monk dropped... hot horseshoes? Okay. I've long pondered his playing, wondered what image or phrase might capture his angular perspective and percussive style. "Sheets of sound" for Monk's busy on-the-job trainee John? Pshaw. Marc has upped the ante on that one, and met the loneliest Monk challenge, working in the smithy of creation, pounding out hot horseshoes on the cool anvil of Bop.

Jery Rowan

In the Toronto music circles I cut my teeth on during the '50s, an expression regarding Monk was being liberally tossed around, "Someday his technique might catch up to his ideas".

An expression of envy and awe by those unable to grab the tail of his creative comet, I believe.

don frese

Thanks for the appreciation of one of my favorite sessions by Monk, and two of my favorite compositions by him--Hornin' In and Skippy.
You can gauge the difficulty of Monk's pieces by how often or not they are recorded by others. Both of these are little assayed (as are Trinkle Tinkle and Four in One). One version of Hornin' In I can recommend: by Sphere on Verve--the lone date with Gary Bartz replacing the late Charlie Rouse. It is out of print, but can be found from Amazon Marketplace dealers and elsewhere.

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  • Marc Myers writes frequently on music and the arts for the Wall Street Journal. He is author of "Why Jazz Happened" (University of California Press). In 2012, JazzWax was named the Jazz Journalists Association's "Blog of the Year."
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