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Thelonious Monk "Complete Riverside Recordings" Coming from Concord on May 19


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Reconfigured box set features monk’s entire output for Riverside label, extensive liner notes by compilation producer, the late Orrin Keepnews

LOS ANGELES, CA: Concord Music Group is pleased to announce the reissue of its GRAMMY Award-winning Thelonious Monk anthology, The Complete Riverside Recordings. Due out May 19, 2015 on the Riverside imprint, The Complete Riverside Recordings will be back on the market in new, sleek and compact packaging.

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The 15-disc box set presents the entire output that Monk recorded for Riverside between 1955 and 1961, and offers a striking picture of one of the most significant and colorful figures in jazz history. A comprehensive booklet completes the collection, offering rare photographs, discographical information, and GRAMMY Award-winning notes by the late Orrin Keepnews, producer of the original recordings, who also researched and assembled this 1986 compilation.

Fans of the groundbreaking jazz pianist and composer will enjoy 153 performances—studio sessions, club and concert recordings—in chronological order. Also included are a legendary abandoned session with drummer Shelly Manne, as well as partial takes and in-studio conversation, all of which add to this unique portrait of a genius in action, at a time when Monk was gaining wide recognition. Running the gamut from unaccompanied solos to Monk’s celebrated 1959 orchestra concert at Town Hall, this collection features many of the most important jazz artists of our time, including John Coltrane, Sonny Rollins, Art Blakey, Coleman Hawkins, Gerry Mulligan, Max Roach, Clark Terry, Thad Jones, Charlie Rouse, Johnny Griffin, and Wilbur Ware.

Considered by many at the time to be too eccentric and complex to be appreciated by listeners and peers, Monk found a strong supporter in Orrin Keepnews, who signed the musician to his Riverside label in 1955. With Keepnews as producer, Monk recorded a series of albums that quickly came to feature his music, as well as the best players of the period. The profundity of Monk’s music finally grew to be appreciated, and over the next 15 years he became an international jazz star, touring frequently with a quartet, recording brilliant solo sessions and leading large ensembles in Town Hall and Philharmonic Hall that resulted in live albums.

The Complete Riverside Recordings, which garnered GRAMMY Awards for Best Historical Album and Best Album Notes at the 1988 ceremony, was given a five-star rating by Allmusic.com, which commented, “The Complete Riverside Recordings explores Monk’s genius with a certain degree of real-time analysis that simply listening to each of the individual albums from this era lacks... [The booklet] is indispensable in dispelling myths and making sense of the convoluted and seemingly random order in which many of these recordings have been previously issued.”

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