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RADIO

Get It Straight - Thelonious Monk Is Still Cooking at 102

Read "Get It Straight - Thelonious Monk Is Still Cooking at 102" reviewed by Mary Foster Conklin

Big birthday shout outs to Thelonious Monk and Roy Kral (pictured with Jackie Cain), along with singers Nancy Kelly, Emma Larsson, Amy Cervini, Lee Wiley, Nona Hendryx, drummer Eve Sicular, trumpeter Pam Fleming, pianists Linda Presgrave and Johnny O'Neal among others; with a bounty harvest of new releases from trumpeter Bria Skonberg, pianists Leslie Pintchik and Champian Fulton with Cory Weeds, vocalists Ronny Whyte and Kurt Elling with James Morrison plus a posthumous release from vocalist Nora York.

RADIO

The Genius of Modern Music, Thelonious Monk on Blue Note (1947 - 1950)

Read "The Genius of Modern Music, Thelonious Monk on Blue Note (1947 - 1950)" reviewed by Russell Perry

(If the Mixcloud player for this program is unavailable in your country, please scroll down and listen via Soundcloud.) In 1940, Minton's Playhouse on West 118th Street hired drummer Kenny Clarke as a bandleader. For the house band, Clarke hired trumpeter Joe Guy, bassist Nick Fenton, and an eccentric pianist named Thelonious Monk. Although Monk recorded with Coleman Hawkins in 1944, he didn't record with his own group until 1947. Despite these kind of gaps that occur ...

PROFILES

Brother Thelonious Re-Released At California North Coast Jazz and Ale House

Read "Brother Thelonious Re-Released At California North Coast Jazz and Ale House" reviewed by Arthur R George

"Brother Thelonious," an ale named in tribute to pianist Thelonious Monk using a Belgian Trappist brew style, is flowing again out of the North Coast Brewing Company in Fort Bragg, California and its jazz-devoted performance venue, The Sequoia Room. An intermission in production occurred after a dispute between North Coast Brewing and the Estate of the late Thelonious Monk, now resolved, over the use of Monk's image promoting the ale and related products. The Estate, represented by Monk's son drummer ...

RADIO

Thelonious Monk Revisited

Read "Thelonious Monk Revisited" reviewed by Ludovico Granvassu

Thelonious Monk once said “play what you want and let the public pick up on what you are doing even if it does take them 15, 20 years." Luckily, he lived long enough to become fully embraced and celebrated before his passing. However, it's after his death that his music has really become central to the jazz canon. To mark the thirty-seventh anniversary of his demise, on 17 February 1982, this week we feature a very diverse range of renditions ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Thelonious Monk: Mønk

Read "Mønk" reviewed by Ian Patterson

There is certainly no shortage of Thelonious Monk live albums--there are several dozen, in fact--but not too many such recordings have been rescued from a skip, as seems to be the case with this long-lost tape of Monk from a 1963 concert at Odd Fellow Palaeet, Copenhagen. Lovingly restored by Gearbox Records, the recording finds Monk with long-term collaborator Charlie Rouse on tenor saxophone and a cooking rhythm section of double bassist John Ore and drummer Frankie Dunlop. It is, ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Thelonious Monk: Mønk

Read "Mønk" reviewed by Chris May

Summer 2018 has seen the release of previously unknown recordings by two giants of mid-twentieth century jazz. First we had John Coltrane's Both Directions At Once: The Lost Album (Impulse!), and now Thelonious Monk's live album Mønk. Both discs were made in 1963. The breathless hyperbole which greeted the Coltrane was unjustified, if predictable, but the album is nonetheless a valuable addition to the archive. The Monk is, quite simply, among the pianist's strongest quartet recordings. Mønk was ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Thelonious Monk: Mønk

Read "Mønk" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

Closely following the release of John Coltrane's Both Directions at Once: The Lost Album (Impulse!, 2018), this year brings us another previously unreleased gem from the golden age of jazz. The status of Thelonius Monk in the early 1960s, is indisputable and this recently discovered session recorded at a live performance in Copenhagen's Old Fellow Palæet, in 1963 validates the pianist's standing. The engineers at the UK's Gearbox Records undertook a painstaking process to restore and master the original tapes, ...

Thelonious Monk Inside Out: A Fresh Perspective On His Music

Read "Thelonious Monk Inside Out: A Fresh Perspective On His Music" reviewed by Victor L. Schermer

Over the years, Thelonious Monk has resided in our collective minds and hearts like the extra-terrestrial “E.T." or Holden Caulfield from Catcher in the Rye, or some such alien figure whom we don't fully understand yet love and enjoy. His music shocks and disturbs us, yet we take great pleasure in it like a jolting ride at an amusement park. Monk's eccentric way of playing disrupts our equilibrium, yet it attracts us by its charm and wit. Musicians immerse themselves ...

HISTORY OF JAZZ

Monk's Trumpets

Read "Monk's Trumpets" reviewed by Matt Lavelle

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 Antonio Baiano

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 Patrick Burnette

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 ...

YEAR IN REVIEW

C. Michael Bailey’s Best Recordings of 2017

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

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 ...


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