Thursday, May 07, 2015

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Thelonious Monk with John Coltrane

Artist:Thelonious Monk with John Coltrane
Song:Ruby My Dear
Album:The Complete 1957 Riverside Recordings

This 2CD budget comp is a must for jazz fans. It contains all the recordings legendary pianist Thelonious Monk recorded with emerging star John Coltrane for Riverside Records in 1957. These recordings were released in pieces over the years and this 2CD collection was compiled by legendary producer Orrin Keepnews. If you're familiar with Monk's career, you'll know that in 1951, his New York City Cabaret Card was revoked after police found drugs in Bud Powell's car occupied by Powell and Monk. So he couldn't perform in New York clubs. Monk was under contract to Prestige Records but things weren't going well there and in 1955, Riverside Records bought Monk's Prestige contract for $108.24. His third album for Riverside, Brilliant Corners, was critically acclaimed and sold well. That was the problem Prestige had with Monk. His albums didn't sell. Then Monk got his Cabaret Card back and formed a new band and began a residency at the Five Spot Cafe in New York. The cornerstone of this band was rising star John Coltrane on sax along with Wilbur Ware on bass and Shadow Wilson on drums. The residency began in June 1957 through the end of the year. This band recorded but Coltrane was still under contract to Prestige so Riverside couldn't release the music. They finally released some of the recordings on the 1961 album Thelonious Monk with John Coltrane and some of the recordings that featured Coleman Hawkins were released on the 1957 album Monk's Music. It wasn't until 2006 that Keepnews compiled all the Monk/Coltrane recordings in one place. It's a must for jazz fans. There are two versions of the Monk classic Ruby My Dear. One with the Coltrane quartet and the other with sax players Coleman Hawkins and Gigi Gryce. And it's available at a budget price. When the residency ended, Coltrane returned to the Miles Davis band and we all know what happened there. Monk formed a new band with Johnny Griffin, Ahmed Abdul-Malik and Roy Haynes. So be sure to check out these historic recordings. Here's a video of Ruby My Dear by Thelonious Monk with John Coltrane.

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