246

Thelonious Monk: Underground

Jerry D'Souza By

Sign in to view read count
Thelonious Monk: Underground The cover of this album is an interesting one. Was Monk’s sense of humor at work? Whatever the answer, the music that it contains is elevating. This expanded edition expiates the shortcomings of the original release where tunes had to be edited so that they could be contained on an LP. The record features four new Monk compositions, including “Ugly Beauty” and “Boo Boo’s Birthday,” which have alternate takes on this release. The last track is also a bonus.

As was his wont, Monk revels in the angular and odd meters. But there are passages where his approach seems to be straightforward. What at first instance seems to be a routine declamation takes on a meaning of its own. Monk opens “Raise Four” with a series of repeated motifs that teeter on indulgence. But when he intersperses them in the middle of the song, the stance takes on a new meaning; imagination has transcended the ordinary. His dialog with Gales, where the bassist first takes a walking line and then moves to arco, is riveting. Rouse and Riley are upfront on “Green Chimneys,” the tenor full bodied and swinging, the drums accenting, filling spaces and energising the flow. Monk is exuberant and playful, keeping his usual structural disseminations at bay.

There are many more scintillating times: in the gentle lilt of the waltz “Green Chimneys”; in the pulsating tangents from Rouse during “Boo Boo’s Birthday,” where Monk satiates with the colors he evokes through straight-ahead improvisation; and when Jon Hendricks comes up to sing on “In Walked Bud,” even if it is only for the rarity of the happening. At the end of it all, this assumes its rightful place as another worthy part of the Monk canon.


Track Listing: Thelonious; Ugly Beauty; Raise Four; Boo Boo

Personnel: Thelonious Monk

Year Released: 2003 | Record Label: Columbia Records | 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 "An Eclipse Of Images" CD/LP/Track Review An Eclipse Of Images
by Mark Corroto
Published: September 1, 2016
Read "Live At Umbria Jazz" CD/LP/Track Review Live At Umbria Jazz
by James Nadal
Published: March 9, 2016
Read "Whirlwind" CD/LP/Track Review Whirlwind
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: May 24, 2016
Read "Forest Grove" CD/LP/Track Review Forest Grove
by Dave Wayne
Published: March 26, 2016
Read "Horizon Ahead" CD/LP/Track Review Horizon Ahead
by Jack Bowers
Published: May 17, 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!