We need more surprises like this one. Discovered by accident during a routine transfer of tapes to digital format, the Library of Congress found a gem. Monk and Coltrane gave their November 29, 1957 Carnegie Hall audience a precious performance. The transfer to digital sound files from a 7 ½-inch tape reel has left their music remarkably fresh, presenting Monk's special quartet in true form. The quartet interprets his music appropriately, and their concert is charged with excitement from start to finish. It's a piece of history that's been rescued from long-term storage just in time. Even in a climate-controlled vault, magnetic tapes don't last forever.
Monk and Coltrane jam with excited emotions. Streams of notes pour from both instruments as the two giants of jazz turn it loose. With bass and drums providing a firm foundation for their adventures, the two artists commingle their instrumental voices with passion. It was a match made in heaven.
Naturally, both Monk and Coltrane provide numerous solo excursions. The saxophonist's muscular interpretations swing with authority as his musical partners conform cohesively. Monk, of course, twinkles the keyboard in a jaunty manner that swings memorably. It doesn't get any better than this.
Track Listing: Monk's Mood; Evidence; Crepuscule With Nellie; Nutty; Epistrophy; Bye-Ya; Sweet & Lovely;
Blue Monk; Epistrophy (incomplete).
Personnel: Thelonious Monk: piano; John Coltrane: tenor saxophone; Ahmed Abdul-Malik: bass; Shadow Wilson: drums.
I was first exposed to jazz when I discovered that one of Jimi Hendrix's influences was Wes Montgomery. I played guitar growing up and idolized Hendrix, so I knew that anyone he looked up to must be good
I was first exposed to jazz when I discovered that one of Jimi Hendrix's influences was Wes Montgomery. I played guitar growing up and idolized Hendrix, so I knew that anyone he looked up to must be good. I was 16 at the time. I went to Tower Records and purchased a CD by Wes, and I was hooked from the very first ten seconds. The sound of the song Lolita illuminated my bedroom, as I just sat back amazed at how colorful and soulful this music was--I understood it, even though at the time I didn't understand how to go about playing it. I get chills listening to Wes' solo on Lolita, and I can still listen to that song ten times in a row and never get tired of it. There is a truly timeless quality to genuinely spontaneous jazz music, and it is that quality that has inspired me to devote my life to studying and playing this music.