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Thelonious Monk: Monk In Tokyo

Jim Santella By

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Recorded May 21, 1963, this two-disc reissue represents classic Monk. Adventurous in his creative interplay with Charlie Rouse, Thelonious Monk wove lines that turned unexpectedly time and again. On his way to worldwide acclaim, Monk was already there musically. The 24-bit digitally remastered sound on this collection brings every nuance to the listener: clear as a bell and exciting. With walking bass and a swinging drummer, Monk and Rouse roll through familiar songs.

As they chase each other through "Bemsha Swing," you've got to wonder why so many of today's jazz artists prefer to add extras to their lineups. Monk and Brubeck brought their quartets into the mainstream with nothing more than four distinct voices that interacted musically. There was no need to add synth strings, finger chimes, congas, backup vocalists or keyboard drones. Rouse and Monk remake "I'm Getting Sentimental Over You" in their own glib style. "Hackensack" and "Evidence" drive with foot-tappin' energy. When Monk adds a few chord wrinkles to Butch Warren's walking bass solo, you can hear the audience laugh lightly. They loved the show. This is one of the best from Monk's classic quartet.


Track Listing: Straight, No Chaser; Pannonica; 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.

Title: Monk In Tokyo | Year Released: 2001 | Record Label: Columbia Records

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