313

Thelonious Monk: Thelonious Monk Plays Duke Ellington

C. Michael Bailey By

Sign in to view read count
Thelonious Monk: Thelonious Monk Plays Duke Ellington I listen to a great deal of music. Categorically, I can say there are really only two types'good and better. As with the appreciation of anything, time must pass before the inherent value can be appropriately realized. That is why it is such great pleasure to review re-released recordings. More often than not, older recordings that are reissued are those deemed worthy by the powers-that-be to undergo sonic face-lifts or new audio presentation.

The 1955 Riverside recording Thelonious Monk Plays Duke Ellington, just remastered with new technology, certainly falls into this category. On this trio recording the pianist receives support from bebop royalty: Oscar Pettiford and Kenny Clarke. It is also Monk's debut for Riverside Records, as well as the first 12-inch LP released by the label.



All three bop masters are clarified in the remastering process with Pettiford's bass being affected the most by being brought effectively to the forefront during superbly constructed solos. Kenny Clarke is understated and powerful in his support. The pianist, as is tradition in the trio setting, plays the largest role with his unique approach to music, his own and others. Monk always had great love and respect of Ellington, a fact made abundantly clear on this recording. The group plays the majority of selections very straight, only deviating on a beautifully angular "Black and Tan Fantasy."



These sides were recorded on July 21 and 27, 1955. For perspective, Charlie Parker died a mere five months earlier. Bebop permeates these sides, Parker's legacy well intact by this time.

Note: Rudy Van Gelder's engineering is very effectively maintained by this remastering. The sonics are warm and inviting, with a perfect bass-treble balance.


Track Listing: It Don?t Mean A Thing; Sophisticated Lady; I Got It Bad (And That Ain?t Good); Black And Tan Fantasy; Mood Indigo; I Let A Song Go Out Of My Heart; Solitude; Caravan.

Personnel: Thelonious Monk?Piano; Oscar Pettiford?Bass; Kenny Clarke?Drums.

Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: Fantasy Jazz | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark CD/LP/Track Review The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Les Deux Versants Se Regardent CD/LP/Track Review Les Deux Versants Se Regardent
by John Sharpe
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Molto Bene CD/LP/Track Review Molto Bene
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Fellowship CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read E.S.T. Symphony CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read "Welcome Back" CD/LP/Track Review Welcome Back
by John Sharpe
Published: March 28, 2016
Read "April" CD/LP/Track Review April
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: January 29, 2017
Read "My Foolish Heart" CD/LP/Track Review My Foolish Heart
by Henning Bolte
Published: February 3, 2017
Read "Refuge In Sound" CD/LP/Track Review Refuge In Sound
by Edward Blanco
Published: April 4, 2016
Read "Duo" CD/LP/Track Review Duo
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 20, 2016
Read "Spacebound Apes" CD/LP/Track Review Spacebound Apes
by Phil Barnes
Published: September 14, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!