Monk's Music [Original Jazz Classics Remasters]
CAT # OJC-32689-25
1. Abide With Me 2. Well, You Needn't 11:24 3. Ruby, My Dear 5:25 4. Off Minor (Take 5) 5:07 5. Epistrophy 10:45 6. Crepuscule With Nellie (Take 6) 4:41 7. Off Minor (Take 4) 5:12 8. Crepuscule With Nellie (Takes 4 & 5) 4:44 9. Blues For Tomorrow 13:33
Recorded in New York in June 1957 for Riverside, Monk's Music surrounds the pianist/composer with a stellar crew: trumpeter Ray Copeland, alto saxophonist Gigi Gryce, tenor saxophonists John Coltrane and Coleman Hawkins, bassist Wilbur Ware, and drummer Art Blakey.
"What makes this one of the most fascinating recordings of Monk's career is the complexity of the material combined with the caliber of the musicians on hand to play it," says Phillips. "You have John Coltrane and Coleman Hawkins, two all-time legends of the tenor saxophone, playing Monk's music side-by-side. That in and of itself makes this a very special recording. They're two artists with very different styles, and two artists who have had a profound influence on legions of other saxophonists."
"Monk's Music was the haymaker in a one-two-three combination of albums, all recorded in 1957, that made it a breakout year for Thelonious Monk," says Ashley Kahn, author of the new liner notes for the reissue. "A solidly balanced recording that highlighted Monk's growing status as the pre-eminent composer of the modern jazz scene, it featured a septet that drew on an unusual mix of soloists and a solid rhythm team. It also stood out as being the first recording released that was conscious of Monk's increased popular appeal."
Heralded by Downbeat as one of the top five albums of 1958, Monk's Music "remains one of Monk's most cherished recordings: coherent, organic, and fully realized," says Kahn.
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