Tuesday, July 31, 2007
Yahoo LAUNCHCAST Song Of The Day-Thelonious Monk
It's Thelonious Monk's eccentricities that made him one of the all time greats of the jazz piano. His music is very rewarding. He was born Oct. 10, 1917 in Rocky Mount, NC and grew up in New York. Stride piano legend James P. Johnson was a neighbour and very influential on Monk's style. So by the 40s, Monk's playing style was established and it was unique enough that he didn't have to change. So in the early 50s he wasn't that popular because he didn't play in the standard bebop style. But by the end of the decade he was back on top again. He signed with Columbia in 1962 and made a series of outstanding recordings. Pannonica is an excellent song from the 1964 album Monk. Columbia released it on CD in 2002 with some bonus tracks. Monk's standard quartet at the time was Charlie Rouse on sax, Larry Gales on bass and Ben Riley on drums. They worked very well together and their music is outstanding. Thelonious Monk suffered from mental illness and retired from music in 1973. He died Feb. 17, 1982 at age 64. Thelonious Monk ranks at the top of the jazz elite and his music is essential listening. Here's Thelonious Monk and his quartet performing Round Midnight in Oslo 1966.