All About Jazz

Home » Articles | Reviews Only

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

Articles | Featured | Future

HISTORY OF JAZZ

Monk's Trumpets

Read "Monk's Trumpets" reviewed by

Thelonious Monk's recording career as a leader only lasted twenty-four years, from 1947 to 1971. When it comes to horn players, most people interested in Monk associate him with the tenor saxophone, and rightfully so as Johnny Griffin, Sonny Rollins, John Coltrane, and Charlie Rouse stand tall in Monk's recorded legacy. The alto saxophone was present from his first record as a leader, but no alto players were able to contribute substantially beyond strong work as sidemen. Gigi Gryce stands ...

IN PICTURES

Celebrating centennials at Moncalieri Jazz Festival

Read "Celebrating centennials at Moncalieri Jazz Festival" reviewed by

After the two concerts which opened its 20th edition, the Moncalieri Jazz Festival shifted to full throttle with four more great nights of music, each celebrating the centennials of jazz giants born in 1917. The first evening was dedicated to Ella Fitzgerald. Italian-Algerian vocalist Karima performed “Voices," a special project commissioned by the festival, accompanied by the tight-knit trio of Fabio Giachino, Davide Liberti and Ruben Bellavia. The following evening was dedicated to Thelonious Monk with ...

HIGHLY OPINIONATED

Who Needs Monk?

Read "Who Needs Monk?" reviewed by

2017 is Thelonious Monk's hundredth anniversary year and as good a time as any to ask whether he has anything to teach young, ambitious, up-and-coming jazz musicians today. Monk's recordings still nurture and entertain countless jazz fans, and the clarity and directness of his conception makes him a wonderful “introductory" artist for newbies. Gigging jazz musicians draw from the well of his compositions to fill their sets, and it's hard to imagine a future where “'Round Midnight" or ...

BEST OF / YEAR END

C. Michael Bailey’s Best Recordings of 2017

Read "C. Michael Bailey’s Best Recordings of 2017" reviewed by

This year marks my 20th contributing to AAJ. Twenty years ago, I was 38 years old looking for an outlet for my music writing that had somehow avoided me until I came across an opportunity disguised as a call for articles from one Michael Ricci in jny: Philadelphia. I emailed my review of Art Pepper's San Francisco Samba (Contemporary, 1997) and I have been contributing to AAJ since. That said, I want to tip my hat to my ...

WHAT IS JAZZ?

Misterioso

Read "Misterioso" reviewed by

Music and improvisation--that comes naturally to our ears but what if we say life and improvisation? Huh? Well, life is improvisation is it not? How do we deal best with that period of time between birth and death that we call life? Life is a strange dance partner--it offers one fun, friends, food, love, knowledge, discovery but lets you know throughout that death is part of this deal called life. Does improvisation sound more inviting now? These are ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Thelonious Monk: Les Liaisons Dangereuses 1960

Read "Les Liaisons Dangereuses 1960" reviewed by

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

Read "Les Liaisons Dangereuses 1960" reviewed by

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

Read "Les Liaisons Dangereuses 1960" reviewed by

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

Read "Les Liaisons Dangereuses 1960" reviewed by

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 ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Thelonious Monk: Les Liaisons Dangereuses 1960

Read "Les Liaisons Dangereuses 1960" reviewed by

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 ...