- Released: February 1, 2008
- Originally Released: 2008
- Label: Sbme Special Mkts.
- 1.Well You Needn't
- 3.Bemsha Swing
- 4.'Round Midnight
- 6.Ruby, My Dear
- 7.Crepuscule With Nellie
- 8.Blue Monk
- 9.Straight, No Chaser
Also available in a 3-pack with MILES DAVIS' GREATEST HITS and DAVE BRUBECK'S GREATEST HITS.
Personnel: Thelonious Monk (piano); Steve Lacy (soprano saxophone); Phil Woods (alto saxophone, clarinet); Charlie Rouse (tenor saxophone); Gene Allen (baritone saxophone, clarinet, bass clarinet); Nick Travis (trumpet); Thad Jones (cornet); Eddie Bert (trombone); Pee Wee Russell (clarinet); Larry Gales, Butch Warren, John Ore (bass); Ben Riley, Frank Dunlop (drums).
Producer: Teo Macero.
Reissue producer: Nedra Olds-Neal.
Recorded between March 29, 1963 and November 19, 1968. Includes liner notes by Michael Zwerin.
Digitally remastered by Mark Wilder and Rob Schwarz (Sony Music Studios, New York, New York).
As with any prolific jazz artist, no one album from Thelonious Monk's career could provide a definitive introduction to his music. And unlike Miles Davis or John Coltrane, Monk's development did not take place in epochal leaps defined by this or that particular LP. Rather, Monk's art unfolded through a continued probing of a relatively small collection of compositions. MONK'S GREATEST HITS contains nothing that ever had a prayer of heavy rotation on FM radio, but rather nine of the tunes that Monk spent his career exploring, all of which have become integral to the jazz repertoire. This material was recorded between 1963 and 1967, and on four of the tunes Monk stretches out past the ten-minute mark. Most of the cuts are live recordings featuring Monk's tenor saxophonist of choice in later years, Charlie Rouse. Rouse is present on all but two solo cuts ("Round Midnight" and "Ruby, My Dear").