Personnel: Thelonious Monk (piano); Sahib Shihab, Ernie Henry, Phil Woods (alto saxophone); Sonny Rollins, John Coltrane, Charlie Rouse (tenor saxophone); Pepper Adams (baritone saxophone); Donald Byrd (trumpet); Bob Northern (French horn); Eddie Bert (trombone); Jay McAllister (tuba); Milt Jackson (vibraphone); Gene Ramey, John Simmons, Al McKibbon, Percy Heath, Oscar Pettiford, Wilbur Ware, Sam Jones, John Ore, Larry Gales (bass); Art Blakey, Shadow Wilson, Max Roach, Art Taylor, Frankie Dunlop, Ben Riley (drums).
Compilation producers: Bob Belden, Michael Cuscuna.
Recorded between 1947 and 1971. Includes liner notes by Peter Keepnews.
Digitally remastered by Mark Wilder and Seth Foster (Sony Studios, New York, New York).
This is part of the Columbia/Legacy Ken Burns JAZZ series.
Personnel: Thelonious Monk (piano); Ernie Henry, Phil Woods, Sahib Shihab (alto saxophone); John Coltrane, Sonny Rollins, Charlie Rouse (tenor saxophone); Pepper Adams (baritone saxophone); Donald Byrd (trumpet); Robert "Brother Ah" Northern (French horn); Eddie Bert (trombone); Jay McAllister (tuba); Milt Jackson (vibraphone); Max Roach, Art Blakey, Art Taylor, Shadow Wilson, Ben Riley, Frankie Dunlop (drums).
Liner Note Author: Peter Keepnews.
Recording information: 10/24/1947-11/15/1971.
Editor: Deborah Hay.
Arranger: Hall Overton.
Pianist/composer Thelonious Monk was present at the birth of bebop. But where most pianists and soloists would try to dazzle with as many notes as possible, Monk was something of an outsider, with a minimalist's approach. He would let the silences speak as loudly as the notes. His tunes were wry, sly, angular and unpredictable, yet beguiling--his "'Round Midnight" is one of the most enduring tunes in the jazz canon. This compilation collects prime Monk from all phases of his career, spanning his earliest tracks for Blue Note, including "Well You Needn't," to the trio for the European label Black Lion, incorporating "Nice Work If You Can Get It," just before he went into retirement.
In between there's the jaunty, futuristic "Blue Monk" (hear how he anticipates Cecil Taylor), Monk with a small orchestra, solo ("'Round Midnight"), and leading small groups accompanied by fellow legends Sonny Rollins, John Coltrane, and Max Roach. This volume of KEN BURNS JAZZ is a near-perfect primer of one of the most idiosyncratic geniuses in American music in general and jazz in particular.