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Bebop Spoken There

Dave Puddy: "Eventually we paid our entrance money [to Eel Pie Island] and fought our way to one of the many bars where we could buy our Newcastle Brown and retire to the back of the heaving dancefloor. There must have been lights somewhere, but my memory remains of being in some dark cavernous wonderland." - (Just Jazz July 2020)

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As we all know there are no live gigs taking place in the immediate future. However, any links to jazz streaming that are deemed suitable - i.e. with a professional approach - will be considered for posting.

Friday, August 10, 2018

LP Review: Thelonious Monk - MØNK

Thelonious Monk (piano); Charlie Rouse (tenor); John Ore (bass); Frankie Dunlop (drums).
(Review by Lance).
Previously unreleased recordings by Monk are always interesting and this one from a 1963 concert in Copenhagen is more than merely 'interesting' it's an absolute gem.
True, we've heard most of the pieces in the studio but, hearing them live is a totally different ballgame as this lovingly restored Gearbox release proves.

Monk is, of course, the quirky, unpredictable, musical alchemist we know and love/hate (delete as applicable) but, for me, the icing on any Monkian cake is Charlie Rouse - in effect, Monk's third arm.
Just as Johnny Hodges was never the same away from Duke, nor was Rouse as effective away from Monk.
Trane, Griffin and Rollins all played well with bebop's high priest but with Rouse, it was as if they were joined at the hip and I use the word advisedly. Rouse could interpret Monk's tunes and cope with the pianist's often clunky approach like no one else.
The tenor solos are long but never boring as he moves with serpentine agility through the changes; his sound and approach as individual as that of Monk himself.

Monk's individuality is never more apparent than on the solo performance of Body and Soul. It took me many years to fully appreciate his unique approach to the piano but, when I eventually did it was a Damascus moment. Parker and Gillespie may have been the PR men for bebop but Monk was the backroom genius, his innovations more complex than the blues and rhythm changes of the other two, great as they were.

John Ore performs the bass duties as expected and longtime Monk drummer Dunlop, like Rouse, knew Monk's music inside out.

Bye-Ya; Nutty; Monk's Dream and I'm Getting Sentimental Over You are the other pieces on this classic discovery - the original tapes, it is said, were rescued from a skip and, I quote, "faithfully restored, mastered and cut using Gearbox's legendary all-analogue process, making it a genuine AAA release (analogue recording, analogue mix, analogue master) and a treat for all audiophiles, enthusiasts, historians and music lovers alike".

Well, although I've only been working from a promo CD, I can go along with all that.
There's also, apart from the standard vinyl edition, a limited run, 500 copies only. special Collector's Edition vinyl release to be issued on a first come, first served, basis.
Yer pays yer money...

It's been a good year - Chet Baker, John Coltrane and now Monk. That Buddy Bolden cylinder might turn up yet and if it does,  Gearbox will give it the treatment!
Lance.
Available Sept.

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