Thelonious Monk

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10 Tracks by Thelonious Monk I can’t do without…by Jonathan Gee

In our series in which musicians do a “deep dive” into the music of their inspirations, pianist Jonathan Gee writes about ten of his favourite tracks by Thelonious Monk:. Starting with his Blue Note period of the late 40s, my first choice is this composition written for his sister-in-law. This glorious tune is based on Tea for Two: Monk underpinned the tune with his trademark 2-5 chromatic harmony then used that harmony to build a new melody. I particularly like the second eight. The tune has a silent movie caper vibe that carries you along and the horn players sound like they are serenely riding an almost out of control horse. Check Jason Moran’s Skitter In for a modern take on this space.
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Thelonious Monk: A Thriving Legacy

I didn't want to play the way I'd heard music played all my life. I got tired of hearing that. I wanted to hear something else, something better. If legendary jazz musicians were collected together in one giant jigsaw puzzle and each musician was one piece—Thelonious Monk's individual piece would be impossible to cut out. As a singular artist, his shape or place in jazz is too uniquely non-conforming.
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Thelonious Monk: An Alternative Top Ten Albums Of Deep And Staggering Genius

Thelonious Monk's position in cultural history grows in stature with each passing year and every new generation. Lionised by jazz fans and a continuing influence on musicians, Monk in 2020 is also held to be a hero by the hip hop movement. While his music no longer has the power to shock that it once possessed, it still comes across as unique, profound and thrilling.
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The Monk'estra Trilogy: The Genius of John Beasley and Thelonious Monk

His music was ahead of its time. I know, how many times have you heard that said about the incomparable Thelonious Monk? Still, to sit on that thought for just a minute, his music has skyrocketed into the twenty-first century in a time capsule. A jazz icon in his lifetime, he is remarkably revered and understood today.