MONK ALONE: THE COMPLETE COLUMBIA SOLO STUDIO RECORDINGS: 1962-1968 is a two disc set which contains master takes, rare takes and previously unreleased takes.
Solo performer: Thelonious Monk (piano).
Producer: Teo Macero.
Compilation producer: Orrin Keepnews.
Includes liner notes by Dick Katz and Orrin Keepnews.
All tracks have been digitally remastered using 20-bit technology by Mark Wilder and Rob Schwarz at Sony Music Studios, New York, New York.
Personnel: Thelonious Monk (piano).
Audio Remasterer: Mark Wilder.
Liner Note Authors: Dick Katz; Orrin Keepnews.
Recording information: Columbia Records 39th Street Studio, New York, NY (11/01/1962-11/19/1968); LA, CA (11/01/1962-11/19/1968).
Photographer: Don Hunstein.
For as much of an idiosyncratic stylist as he was, Monk was always a musician's musician, creating a unique framework for his collaborators that both stimulated and challenged them. But his was also a very personal vision, one that essentially began and ended in his own head, with Monk reaching into the outside world only to find the pieces necessary to complete his beautiful sonic puzzles. It makes sense, then, that much of Monk's music benefited from solo piano treatments like those collected on this unparalleled two-disc set.
Without the input or contrast of other musicians to cast his innovations in relief, Monk's sheer creativity seems that much more startling. From his drastic reworkings of standards like "Body & Soul" to scaled-down adaptations of his own classic compositions such as "Ruby, My Dear," he startles with the level of his invention. To listen to MONK ALONE is to be awed by the uncompromising, singular visions of one of jazz's most unique thinkers.