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Jazz Articles


Thelonious Monk Institute of Performance Jazz Ensemble

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Thelonious Monk Institute of Performance Jazz Ensemble The Nash Third Anniversary Concert Phoenix, Arizona November 18, 2015 An international jazz ensemble performed two polished concerts, including cameo sit-ins by New York drummer Lewis Nash, during the third anniversary weekend of The Nash concert venue that is named in his honor. High-octane energy and invention were delivered in sophisticated evergreens and original compositions by seven post-graduate fellows of the Thelonious Monk Institute ...


The Loneliest Monk

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This article was first published in August 2005. This is an apocryphal story. During Bill Clinton's first presidential campaign, he was doing an interview with supposed intellectual, Tabitha Soren of MTV. Soren asked him if there was anything he dreamt of doing. Clinton replied that he had always wanted to play sax with Thelonious Monk. Soren screwed on her best smart-girl face and replied, “And who was the loneliest monk?" At the current rate of production, ...


Thelonious Monk

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Thelonious Sphere Monk is one of the true great jazz originals. Monk's family moved from North Carolina to jny: New York City while he was still an infant. He began piano lessons around age 12, playing Harlem rent parties then graduating to Harlem clubs such as Minton's Playhouse. Monk often played with Dizzy Gillespie and Coleman Hawkins through the early 1940s. As Minton's house pianist, Monk was entrenched as THE bebop pianist: At Minton's, with Gillespie, ...


Thelonious Monk: Genius of Modern Music, Volume 1 – Blue Note 1510

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There's bebop, there's hard bop--and then there's Thelonious Monk. It's not hard to imagine where the bebop pioneers found their new sound in the late 1940s, after World War II. It emerged from the big bands, which were dying. It was a natural progression. Hard-charging, uber-fast soloists pushed the limits of speed and rhythm, to the chagrin of the jazz establishment, but to the thrill of listeners. It was new, but it wasn't a giant leap--more of an ...


Kissing Cousins: Jazz + poetry = jazz poetry

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Believe it or not there have been times when jazz and poetry intertwine. The music inspires the poetry and creates a non-mainstream style of writing... jazz poetry. Innovations in music and poetics in the early part of the 20th century surfaced in the 1920's. The simultaneous evolution of poetry and jazz music was not lost upon musicians and writers of the time. The two art forms merge and form the genre of jazz poetry. However, note that there's ...


Thelonious Monk: Newport '59

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Only with hindsight can it be ascertained that 1959 marked the pinnacle of jazz music as a cultural force in the United States. In 1959, the Mount Rushmore presidents of jazz were recording their definitive statements: John Coltrane's Giant Steps (Atlantic, 1960), Dave Brubeck's Time Out (Columbia, 1959), Charles Mingus' Ah Um (Columbia, 1959), Miles Davis' Kind Of Blue (Columbia, 1959) and Ornette Coleman's The Shape Of Jazz To Come (Atlantic, 1959).That year also signaled the upcoming split ...


Thelonious Monk: The Definitive Thelonious Monk on Prestige and Riverside

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One fundamental paradox of compilation albums is the way so many good ones ultimately render themselves useless. Consider how many hits packages sit untouched on the shelves of aficionados, doomed to a lifetime of neglect simply for having the gall to work efficiently as the conversion tools they were intended to be. Consequently, a great compilation requires a functionality beyond simply being a commercially-endorsed mix CD. The Definitive Thelonious Monk on Prestige and Riverside spans the great pianist/composer's most revered ...


Thelonious Monk: Monk's Music

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Many albums in the Original Jazz Classics reissue series include alternate takes or tracks recorded for, but ultimately not included on, the original vinyl LP. The label's 2011 Remasters edition of pianist Thelonious Monk's Monk's Music (Riverside, 1957) is no exception--but is something of a first, in that “Blues For Tomorrow," the 13:33 minute bonus track, does not include a single note from the leader. The track was recorded on June 25, 1957, in the closing minutes of ...

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