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The 1st complete biography of mythical jazz musician Thelonious Monk, written through a super historian, with complete entry to the family's files and with dozens of interviews.

Thelonious Monk is the severely acclaimed, gripping saga of an artist’s fight to “make it” with out compromising his musical imaginative and prescient. it's a tale that, like its topic, displays the tidal ebbs and flows of yank heritage within the 20th century. To his enthusiasts, he used to be the last word hipster; to his detractors, he used to be temperamental, eccentric, taciturn, or childlike. His angular melodies and dissonant harmonies shook the jazz international to its foundations, ushering within the start of “bebop” and constructing Monk as certainly one of America’s maximum com­posers. Elegantly written and wealthy with humor and pathos, Thelonious Monk is the definitive paintings on glossy jazz’s most unique composer.

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Monte Kay came upon Monk’s song fascinating and had labored with him off and on considering the fact that Monk’s time with Hawkins on the Down Beat membership. yet he nonetheless observed Monk as a “troubled man and never too trustworthy. ”107 despite what quite went down the morning of June 28, the results proved disastrous. 3 days following his free up from reformatory, Monk used to be again within the studio for an additional Blue be aware consultation, regardless of the present recording ban known as by means of the AFM. 108 His dedication to the label used to be unshakable. Blue be aware used to be getting ready to unencumber one other seventy eight from the autumn ’47 sessions—“Off Minor” and “Evonce”—and the Lions felt he wanted extra tune within the can. annoyed through their lack of ability to promote Monk’s documents, they determined to aim whatever diversified. First, they integrated Milt Jackson as a featured artist at the date. Jackson had started to realize just a little a following as a soloist with Dizzy Gillespie and Howard McGhee, and within the spring of 1948 he in short shaped his personal band with John Lewis and Kenny Clarke. 109 Jackson used to be a crowd favourite; his solos swung tough and appeared to carry the viewers. moment, Blue word and Monk made up our minds so as to add a few vocal numbers. Monk employed crooner Kenny “Pancho” Hagood, whom he knew and played with once they either have been in Dizzy Gillespie’s gigantic band in 1946. Monk even replaced the rhythm part, bringing John Simmons, the bassist from the Royal Roost, and drummer Rossiere “Shadow” Wilson. Neither Simmons nor Wilson was once strongly pointed out with bebop, yet either artists have been exceptionally flexible and had labored with swing bands representing assorted eras. Simmons recorded with each person, from James P. Johnson and massive Sid Catlett to Ben Webster, Billie vacation, and Coleman Hawkins. one hundred ten Wilson was once top identified for his paintings with the count number Basie Orchestra, notwithstanding he additionally performed with Lionel Hampton, Benny Carter, and Earl Hines. 111 For no matter what cause, Monk was once searching for a metamorphosis, and he prepare a extra mature band. all people within the quartet had a longtime acceptance and a reasonably lengthy resume, even though Monk was once nonetheless the elder of the gang. Monk’s collection of swing-era veterans and modernists paid off. The band reduce six facets in 9 takes, of which have been new compositions: “Evidence,” in response to the adjustments from “Just You, simply Me,” used to be nonetheless being composed while Monk first recorded, and it’s a stripped-down model of what the tune turns into. “Misterioso,” the opposite new song, was once Monk’s purely twelve-bar blues thus far. The band additionally up-to-date a few older Monk compositions: the Minton’s subject matter music “Epistrophy” and “I suggest You. ” either songs are radical departures from prior recordings through Cootie Williams and Coleman Hawkins, respectively. they're extra angular and dissonant, and Monk’s accents on “I suggest You” are extra off-center with no wasting a feeling of swing. He brilliantly echoes Jackson’s interpretation of the hole topic and performs countermelodies so jarring and strange that they weigh down the melody. If Wolff and the Lions idea the addition of a few vocal numbers may possibly make Monk extra palatable to a favored viewers, they have been improper.

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