Contains a bonus disc featuring tracks from other Riverside artists.
Personnel: Thelonious Monk (piano, celesta); Thelonious Monk; John Coltrane, Johnny Griffin, Sonny Rollins (saxophone, tenor saxophone); Ernie Henry, Gigi Gryce, Phil Woods (alto saxophone); Coleman Hawkins, Charlie Rouse (tenor saxophone); Pepper Adams (baritone saxophone); Donald Byrd, Ray Copeland (trumpet); Robert "Brother Ah" Northern (French horn); Eddie Bert (trombone); Jay McAllister (tuba); Kenny Clarke, Roy Haynes, Art Taylor, Shadow Wilson (drums); Max Roach, Art Blakey (drums); Cannonball Adderley & His Quartet.
Audio Remasterer: Joe Tarantino.
Liner Note Author: Doug Ramsey.
Recording information: Five Spot Cafe, New York, NY (07/21/1955-10/21/1959); Reeves Studio Sound Studios, New York, NY (07/21/1955-10/21/1959); San Francisco, CA (07/21/1955-10/21/1959); Town Hall, New York, NY (07/21/1955-10/21/1959); Van Gelder Studios, Hackensack, NJ (07/21/1955-10/21/1959).
Photographer: Jan Persson.
Decades after his death, jazz pianist Thelonious Monk remains a unique and fascinating figure. An early proponent of bebop, Monk would never employ a torrent of notes when only a few would suffice--while some pianists worked overtime to dazzle listeners, Monk was content to let judicious "silences" speak volumes. His mid-1950s recordings for New York's Riverside label, following his run with Prestige, are sampled here--his most beloved compositions ("'Round Midnight," "Ruby, My Dear") present the man unaccompanied and with all-star groups (featuring, among others, Sonny Rollins, John Coltrane, and Art Blakey).