Saturday, March 10, 2007

Thelonious Monk Trio Complete 1951-54 Recordings, Definitive Records

Monk said he just played (and composed) what he heard in his head. Given the way he recasts Sweet and Lovely and These Foolish Things there must have been some interesting stuff going on in there. The latter comes out sounding dangerous; the word that came into my head listening to it.

What a great format to hear Monk in, not as sparse a soundscape as his solo recordings, although I like them as well, but with his piano as the only "lead" instrument you get an unobstructed view, so to speak, of his playing. I kept waiting for Charlie Rouse to come in at first, a feeling which passed about halfway through Nutty, the first cut. Excellent versions of Blue Monk and Trinkle Tinkle.

I still think of Monk and his quartets with Rouse as the heights, but I am really glad I read about this Spanish import and bought it. Doesn't lack for commodious sidemen either, Art Blakey, Max Roach and Percy Heath among them.

I'm in no hurry to set a date, but I think I'd like someone to spin up Monk playing Just a Gigolo at the end of my funeral.

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