Thelonious Monk Thelonious Monk Quartet Plus Two at the Blackhawk (Live)
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- Released: February 17, 1988
- Originally Released: 1990
- Label: OJC
Down Beat - 19604.5 Stars - Very Good Plus - "..heartily recommended for the excellent work of [tenor saxophonist] Rouse and Monk...the degree to which Rouse has absorbed his leader's outlook is still amazing...Their empathy is similar to that of Earl Hines and Louis Armstrong.."
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Thelonious Monk Quartet + Two: Thelonious Monk (piano); Charlie Rouse, Harold Land (tenor saxophone); Joe Gordon (trumpet); John Ore (bass); Billy Higgins (drums).
Recorded live at The Blackhawk, San Francisco, California on April 29, 1960. Originally released on Riverside (1171). Includes liner notes by Orrin Keepnews.
Digitally remastered by Danny Kopelson (1987, Fantasy Studios, Berkeley, California).
Personnel: Thelonious Monk (piano); Harold Land, Charlie Rouse (saxophone, tenor saxophone); Joe Gordon (trumpet); Billy Higgins (drums).
Liner Note Author: Orrin Keepnews.
Recording information: The Blackhawk, San Francisco, CA (04/29/1960).
The sextet sessions from which this one sprung started out as a collaboration between Monk and drummer Shelly Manne. The chemistry between the two was deemed uninspired after two days of playing, at which point tenorman Harold Land and trumpeter Joe Gordon were added for a new project. The result, culled from this one-night-only quartet+2's spot at San Francisco's Blackhawk, is high-energy bop.
The trumpet/double-tenor texture is interesting, giving tunes like "Four In One" a thick forcefulness on the head and a fun pluralism in the solo section. Land is busy and energetic over the changes, while Rouse plays in a more narrative style, referring more often to the melody. "San Francisco Holiday" has an almost big band sort of gaiety to it, with Gordon blowing sonic party streamers out of his horn. Monk is relatively conservative in his comping, but steps out with a mad energy on his solos.
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