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MY BLUE NOTE OBSESSION

Thelonious Monk: Genius of Modern Music, Volume 1 – Blue Note 1510

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There's bebop, there's hard bop--and then there's Thelonious Monk. It's not hard to imagine where the bebop pioneers found their new sound in the late 1940s, after World War II. It emerged from the big bands, which were dying. It was a natural progression. Hard-charging, uber-fast soloists pushed the limits of speed and rhythm, to the chagrin of the jazz establishment, but to the thrill of listeners. It was new, but it wasn't a giant leap--more of an ...

JAZZ POETRY

Kissing Cousins: Jazz + poetry = jazz poetry

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Believe it or not there have been times when jazz and poetry intertwine. The music inspires the poetry and creates a non-mainstream style of writing... jazz poetry. Innovations in music and poetics in the early part of the 20th century surfaced in the 1920's. The simultaneous evolution of poetry and jazz music was not lost upon musicians and writers of the time. The two art forms merge and form the genre of jazz poetry. However, note that there's ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Thelonious Monk: Newport '59

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Only with hindsight can it be ascertained that 1959 marked the pinnacle of jazz music as a cultural force in the United States. In 1959, the Mount Rushmore presidents of jazz were recording their definitive statements: John Coltrane's Giant Steps (Atlantic, 1960), Dave Brubeck's Time Out (Columbia, 1959), Charles Mingus' Ah Um (Columbia, 1959), Miles Davis' Kind Of Blue (Columbia, 1959) and Ornette Coleman's The Shape Of Jazz To Come (Atlantic, 1959).That year also signaled the upcoming split ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Thelonious Monk: The Definitive Thelonious Monk on Prestige and Riverside

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One fundamental paradox of compilation albums is the way so many good ones ultimately render themselves useless. Consider how many hits packages sit untouched on the shelves of aficionados, doomed to a lifetime of neglect simply for having the gall to work efficiently as the conversion tools they were intended to be. Consequently, a great compilation requires a functionality beyond simply being a commercially-endorsed mix CD. The Definitive Thelonious Monk on Prestige and Riverside spans the great pianist/composer's most revered ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Thelonious Monk: Monk's Music

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Many albums in the Original Jazz Classics reissue series include alternate takes or tracks recorded for, but ultimately not included on, the original vinyl LP. The label's 2011 Remasters edition of pianist Thelonious Monk's Monk's Music (Riverside, 1957) is no exception--but is something of a first, in that “Blues For Tomorrow," the 13:33 minute bonus track, does not include a single note from the leader. The track was recorded on June 25, 1957, in the closing minutes of ...

DISTRICT JAZZ

New Voices and the American Song Book

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Monk Vocal CompetitionKennedy CenterWashington, D.C.October, 2010 One of the premier jazz events of the year, the annual Thelonious Monk competition rarely fails to deliver. Each year the jazz elite gather to celebrate the legacy of Thelonious Monk and to recognize up-and-coming talents of the jazz world via a competition that rotates among instruments. When hosted by the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., an aura of political weight is inevitably added to ...

OLD, NEW, BORROWED AND BLUE

Four In One: Monk From Four Different Angles

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Superstitions tend to hold sway over many, otherwise, rational people. Plenty of us avoid walking under ladders, knock on wood and partake in countless other rituals that, while lacking in sound reasoning, certainly make us feel better and bring us comfort in our daily lives. Brides-to-be even fall into this category and believe that it will bring them luck to wear something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue on their wedding day.While each of ...

BOOK REVIEWS

Thelonious Monk: The Life and Times of an American Original

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Thelonious Monk: The Life and Times of an American OriginalRobin D.G. KelleyFree PressISBN: 06848319022009

This is an authoritative tome that pulls aside, without completely lifting, the shroud of mystery that has long surrounded one of the most enigmatic figures in the history of jazz. Exhaustively researched over a period of more than a decade, Kelley, who spoke with nearly every one of his subject's living relatives, friends and colleagues, paints ...



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