Learn How

Help improve All About Jazz

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. For $20, we'll hide those pesky Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

334

Thelonious Monk Quintet: Monk

Chris Kompanek By

Sign in to view read count
Thelonious Monk Quintet: Monk The remastered Monk is actually two mini-sets melded into one with the first quintet consisting of the underrated trumpeter Ray Copeland, tenor saxophonist Frank Foster and bassist Curly Russell, with the legendary Art Blakey holding it all together on drums. These first four tracks (including a beautiful rendition of the Jerome Kern classic "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes") are upbeat and decidedly lighter in tone. This half ends with a masterfully syncopated solo by Blakey on the jaunty "Hackensack," named after the New Jersey town where the set was recorded in 1954.

The last three tracks were recorded a year before in New York with tenor saxophonist Sonny Rollins, bassist Percy Heath, French horn player Julius Watkins and drummer Willie Jones. A dramatic shift from the first set, the tone is dark, moody and methodically paced. Rollins' effortless riffs complement Monk's catchy avant-garde melodies and creative harmonization. It's interesting to compare two back-to-back takes of "Think of One." The subtle differences reveal themselves upon repeat listens. The second take has a tighter intro based heavily on the song's chord progression with a piano flourish punctuating the end phrase. In general, notes are chosen with more care, though the solos on the first version take more risks. This dichotomy sums up the two sides of Monk's playing. The first set shows a penchant for melody while the second captures an innovator mixing up the status quo in search of a new and exciting sound. Both are important to understanding his rare talent.


Track Listing: We See; Smoke Gets in Your Eyes; Locomotive; Hackensack; Let's Call This; Think of One (take 2); Think of One (take one).

Personnel: Thelonious Monk: piano; Frank Foster: tenor saxophone; Ray Copeland: trumpet; Curly Russell: bass; Art Blakey: drums; Sonny Rollins: tenor saxophone; Julius Watkins: french horn; Percy Heath: bass; Willie Jones: drums.

Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Concord Music Group | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Umbrella Weather CD/LP/Track Review Umbrella Weather
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: January 24, 2017
Read Born In An Urban Ruin CD/LP/Track Review Born In An Urban Ruin
by John Sharpe
Published: January 24, 2017
Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Dave Wayne
Published: January 24, 2017
Read Sanguinaria (Hopeful Songs) CD/LP/Track Review Sanguinaria (Hopeful Songs)
by Roger Farbey
Published: January 24, 2017
Read #knowingishalfthebattle CD/LP/Track Review #knowingishalfthebattle
by Mark F. Turner
Published: January 23, 2017
Read Live In Brooklyn CD/LP/Track Review Live In Brooklyn
by Roger Farbey
Published: January 23, 2017
Read "Of the Tree" CD/LP/Track Review Of the Tree
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: June 23, 2016
Read "Anthology - Bigger Than Life" CD/LP/Track Review Anthology - Bigger Than Life
by Doug Collette
Published: December 24, 2016
Read "Bambulaye" CD/LP/Track Review Bambulaye
by James Nadal
Published: March 10, 2016
Read "Tiresia" CD/LP/Track Review Tiresia
by Mark Corroto
Published: September 11, 2016
Read "San José Suite" CD/LP/Track Review San José Suite
by Nigel Campbell
Published: December 2, 2016
Read "Ayiti Etoile Nouvelle" CD/LP/Track Review Ayiti Etoile Nouvelle
by James Nadal
Published: February 20, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Get Jazz Near You via email!

Enjoy the convenience of receiving a comprehensive listing of jazz events in your area every Thursday. It's free!