Support All About Jazz

All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. Pay $20 and we'll hide those six pesky Google ads that appear on every page, plus this box and the slideout box on the right for a full year! You'll also fund website expansion.


I want to help
475

Thelonious Monk: Monk in Tokyo

AAJ Staff By

Sign in to view read count Views
Columbia Legacy Jazz recordings, the reissue department of Columbia Jazz, has seriously upped the ante on documenting Thelonious Monk's Columbia work with two more fine, fine Monk reissues. As those may be familiar, Columbia re- released both Monk: Live at the It Club, and Monk Alone (solo piano)- within the past three years. Now come these two live sets, "in Tokyo" and "At the Jazz Workshop"(further accompanied by a 3-cd set- "The Columbia Years"- compilation) in this, the latest wave of the Monk reissue campaign at Columbia. Both of these live sets are 2 cd sets and, about the actual reissue status: the Tokyo set has never before seen US stores, whereas the Jazz Workshop date, previously issued here, now contains 26 previously-unheard minutes of play.

"Live in Tokyo" features an edition of the Monk Quartet (with Butch Warren- b, Frankie Dunlop- d) on display for the very first time in Japan. 1963 was in fact the first year Monk toured Japan, which of course has become a veritable motherlode of Monk devotees ever since. For whatever reason, Monk's music is extremely appealing to Japanese sensibilities; maybe they GET it a little more than the rest of us. Or maybe Monk was Japanese in a former lifetime. "Thelonious-san?"

In any event, this is fine live Monk that is on par with the fantastic Live at the It Club. Beginning on the first disc, there is a nearly 10-minute version of Monk's staple driving tune: "Straight, No Chaser". This gives way to his solo piano rendition of the popular song "Just A Gigolo", done stridingly and of course- with ample cheekiness. Lesser heard "Jackie-ing" is also in the fold on the first disc.

On the second disc (still Tokyo set), the tunes are "I'm Gettin' Sentimental Over You," "Hackensack, Blue Monk, and Epistrophy. There are fine and lengthy quartet outings on all three of the latter tunes.

All in all, this is Live Monk delivered with a true Monkian zest and it should be acquired by anybody who knows the power of the Monk one and wants a prime historical document (Monk coming to Japan for 1st time; now that was a revelation!)


Track Listing: Straight No Chaser; Panonica; Just a Gigolo; Evidence; Jackie-ing; Bemsha Swing; Epistrophy; I'm Gettin' Sentimental Over You; Hackensack; Blue Monk; Epistrophy.

Personnel: Thelonious Monk, piano; Charlie Rouse, Tenor Saxophone; Butch Warren, Bass; Frankie Dunlop, Drums.

| Record Label: Columbia Records | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop For Jazz

Genius Guide to Jazz
Book Reviews
Building a Jazz Library
My Blue Note Obsession
Jazz Poetry
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Newport '59
Newport '59
Concert Vault
2013
buy
Paris 1969
Paris 1969
Blue Note / Capitol
2013
buy
[no cover]
The Ultimate...
Sony Music
2012
buy
[no cover]
Anthology
Sony Music
2011
buy
Monk's Music
Monk's Music
Original Jazz Classics Remasters
2011
buy
[no cover]
Straight No Chaser -...
Sony Music
2011
buy
Miles Davis Miles Davis
trumpet
John Coltrane John Coltrane
saxophone
Charlie Parker Charlie Parker
sax, alto
Charles Mingus Charles Mingus
bass, acoustic
Sonny Rollins Sonny Rollins
saxophone
McCoy Tyner McCoy Tyner
piano
Bud Powell Bud Powell
piano

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.