Articles

Daily articles carefully curated by the All About Jazz staff. Read our popular and future articles.

BUILDING A JAZZ LIBRARY

Ten Tiptop Albums Which Include Thelonious Monk & Denzil Best’s Totally Rocking “Bemsha Swing”

Read "Ten Tiptop Albums Which Include Thelonious Monk & Denzil Best’s Totally Rocking “Bemsha Swing”" reviewed by Chris May

That was the opinion expressed in Inside Jazz by its author, Leonard Feather, who, on the front cover of the book's first edition in 1949 was described as “America's No.1 Authority On Be-Bop." Well, at least Feather was half right about the attractive tunes. In fact, Monk is known to have written at least eighty of them, and had already unveiled ten during his first recording sessions, for Blue Note, in 1947. Some, including “Bemsha Swing," have become jazz standards. ...

BUILDING A JAZZ LIBRARY

Thelonious Monk: An Alternative Top Ten Albums Of Deep And Staggering Genius

Read "Thelonious Monk: An Alternative Top Ten Albums Of Deep And Staggering Genius" reviewed by Chris May

Thelonious Monk's position in cultural history grows in stature with each passing year and every new generation. Lionised by jazz fans and a continuing influence on musicians, Monk in 2020 is also held to be a hero by the hip hop movement. While his music no longer has the power to shock that it once possessed, it still comes across as unique, profound and thrilling. During his lifetime, however, the course of Monk's career was as craggy ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Thelonious Monk: Palo Alto

Read "Palo Alto" reviewed by Mike Jurkovic

Earth-shattering? The best live Thelonious Monk recording ever? Who knows? Probably not. But it is Monk, so Palo Alto, comes to us with all the scholarly fandom brouhaha we accord these wonderful little things that gratefully drop in our laps from troubled time to troubled time. For anyone not paying attention to the jazz chatter of late, the backstory to Palo Alto thumbnails broadly like this: It is 1968 which, as it just so happens, is another troubled ...

INTERVIEW

Danny Scher: Back To School With Thelonious Monk

Read "Danny Scher: Back To School With Thelonious Monk" reviewed by Lawrence Peryer

A high-stakes election season. Streets filled with rage and protest. Cries for racial justice and equity. The latest news from summer 2020? Of course, but that also describes the American Scene in the summer of 1968, when a high school student in Palo Alto, California, first got the idea to book Thelonious Monk to play his school's auditorium. That student was Danny Scher. His recording of this concert, called Palo Alto, was scheduled to be released publicly for the first ...

FILM REVIEW

Blue Note Records Beyond The Notes

Read "Blue Note Records Beyond The Notes" reviewed by Chris May

Blue Note Records Beyond The Notes Director: Sophie Huber Run Time: 111 minutes Eagle Rock Entertainment 2019 Blue Note fans will love this film. It is an unblemished, 360-degree, feel-good feast for the eyes and the ears. Intended by director Sophie Huber to make sense to newcomers to jazz, Blue Note Records Beyond The Notes does not offer any arcane new perspectives on the label. It is instead a ...

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 ...


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