All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 (or more) and we'll hide those six pesky Google ads that appear on every page for a full year! You'll also fund website expansion.


I want to help

334

Thelonious Monk Quintet: Monk

Chris Kompanek By
Published:
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 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.