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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Thelonious Monk: Les Liaisons Dangereuses 1960

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Few things are as infused with as much romance as are those thought lost. Take the entire myth of blues singer Robert Johnson. He produced 29 shellac sides in the late 1920s that had immeasurable influence on American folk music after and then he disappeared. He did exist, but exists now only as a phantom, a heat apparition rising from a dusty dirt road in some God-forsaken Third-World corner of these United States. Yet his visage beckons like Ahab from ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Thelonious Monk: Les Liaisons Dangereuses 1960

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Finding a lost movie soundtrack by composer/pianist Thelonious Monk at this late date seems an improbable event, at the very least. But that is what we have here: previously unreleased performances heard in Roger Vadim's famous 1959 French film Les Liaisons Dangereuses. The official soundtrack album released at the time included only the music by Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers with Barney Wilen that was also recorded for the film. Monk did not compose any new music for the ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Thelonious Monk: Les Liaisons Dangereuses 1960

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There's a purity and innocence in the music of pianist/composer Thelonious Monk. But a subtle complexity colored his tunes, masked by an enchanting approach-ability. You hear “Bemsha Swing," “Well You Needn't," “In Walked Bud," and the melodies won't leave your head; they soak into your neural circuitry, permanently. Monk emerged in the late forties with a series of 78 rpm discs collected into two volumes of The Genius of Modern Jazz (Blue Note Records, 1952). He recorded for ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Thelonious Monk: Les Liaisons Dangereuses 1960

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It's nearly impossible to underestimate the importance of the discovery of the tapes Thelonious Monk made for the French film Les Liasons Dangereuses 1960. Recorded in New York in July 1959, the session, although used in the film, was filed away for some 55 years. Recovered and remastered, we hear not only the soundtrack, but alternate takes and Monk rehearsing his band. Monk had never scored a soundtrack, but was convinced by the Baroness Pannonica de Koenigswarter to ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Thelonious Monk: Les Liaisons Dangereuses 1960

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The magnitude of archival material in jazz music is enormous and overflowing as basements and attics are full with unreleased materials, outtakes and alternate versions by various artists. It's such a medium where recordings used to be made in a matter of few days. Over the years, most or some of that material has found its place on numerous deluxe or anniversary reissues or exclusive content for various box sets. It's a very rare occurrence when a material that was ...

LIVE REVIEWS

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 ...

GENIUS GUIDE TO JAZZ

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, ...

BUILDING A JAZZ LIBRARY

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, ...

MY BLUE NOTE OBSESSION

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 ...


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