313

Thelonious Monk: Thelonious Monk Plays Duke Ellington

C. Michael Bailey By

Sign in to view read count
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.

Title: Thelonious Monk Plays Duke Ellington | Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: Fantasy Jazz


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Whispers on the Wind CD/LP/Track Review Whispers on the Wind
by Jack Bowers
Published: October 23, 2017
Read Shropshire Lads: Songs to the Poems of AE Housman CD/LP/Track Review Shropshire Lads: Songs to the Poems of AE Housman
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: October 23, 2017
Read Heptagon CD/LP/Track Review Heptagon
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 23, 2017
Read ON Tour CD/LP/Track Review ON Tour
by John Kelman
Published: October 22, 2017
Read On a Distant Shore CD/LP/Track Review On a Distant Shore
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: October 22, 2017
Read Friends & Heroes: Guitar Duets CD/LP/Track Review Friends & Heroes: Guitar Duets
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 22, 2017
Read "Playing the 60s" CD/LP/Track Review Playing the 60s
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: January 19, 2017
Read "Alpha Nebula Expanded: The Monster Peace" CD/LP/Track Review Alpha Nebula Expanded: The Monster Peace
by Dave Wayne
Published: November 17, 2016
Read "Afro-Caribbean Mixtape" CD/LP/Track Review Afro-Caribbean Mixtape
by Mark F. Turner
Published: June 27, 2017
Read "We Know Not What We Do" CD/LP/Track Review We Know Not What We Do
by Glenn Astarita
Published: July 21, 2017
Read "Chimeric Stoned Horn" CD/LP/Track Review Chimeric Stoned Horn
by Karl Ackermann
Published: September 3, 2017
Read "WashAshore" CD/LP/Track Review WashAshore
by Geannine Reid
Published: July 30, 2017

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY IT!  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.