Thelonious Monk recommendations

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Isamet, May 25, 2018.

  1. KevinP

    KevinP Forum introvert

    Wellington , NZ
    Some of his LPs are better than others, but none of them are terrible. If you went to a record store and they had exactly one, and it wasn't some cheap-looking compilation, it's a safe bet.

    I tend to prefer his pre-Columbia recordings, Riverside especially, but the Columbias are still essential.

    Make sure you have at least one solo LP though.
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  2. Bobby Boogaloo

    Bobby Boogaloo Heavy on the grease please

    Mid Atlantic USA
  3. Isamet

    Isamet Forum Resident Thread Starter

    New York
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  4. StarThrower62

    StarThrower62 Forum Resident

    Central NY
    I love the early Blue Note recordings, Monk's Music on Riverside, and Criss Cross on Columbia.
    And I want to get the French soundtrack double CD.
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  5. Panama Hotel

    Panama Hotel Forum Resident

    just listen to that one again a few more times. there's definitely something to be said for getting knocked out by a record, and familiarizing yourself with it so thoroughly that you can hear it playing in your head, from memory.

    that said, it's probably easiest to accomplish with one of Monk's solo records, like Thelonious Alone in San Francisco.
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  6. ROFLnaked

    ROFLnaked Forum Resident


    5 by Monk by 5: stereo or mono?

    Thank you.
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  7. Shrdlu

    Shrdlu Well-Known Member

    There are some very good suggestions here. I learned Monk by getting the Prestige LPs. They have the first versions of several Monk standards.

    I suggest that any beginner start there. The 60s Columbias (available in a box set) are good, but not essential.

    "Five By Monk By Five" (Riverside, 1959) is excellent and has an amazing version of "Straight, No Chaser". Monk's comping on that is brilliant and very clearly recorded.

    I also recommend the 2 CD set of his solo Columbia recordings.

    That will get you started.
  8. Hayim kobi

    Hayim kobi Well-Known Member

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  9. kees1954

    kees1954 Forum Resident

  10. frightwigwam

    frightwigwam Talented Amateur

    These days, I tend to listen more to his Columbia albums. He had his right-hand man, Rouse; he had Teo producing him; he was a mature artist with a deep book of originals and always a charming taste in cover material. I think he was on top of his game, then.

    Criss-Cross is probably my favorite studio album from the period, but I love Monk., Straight No Chaser, and Underground about as much. (You can get the original, edited version of Underground, reissued on the 1990 'Jazz Masterpieces' CD, or an unedited version on the 2003 Legacy CD; I actually like it better with the edits, but maybe just because I'm used to it that way.) Monk's Dream is often cited as a '60s highlight--and I like it, too--but I think Teo might have smoothed and polished him a bit much for his CBS debut. YMMV.

    Monk in Tokyo is my favorite live album, although Live at The It Club is close, and of course the '57 Carnegie Hall date with Coltrane is essential.
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2018
  11. Solaris

    Solaris a bullet in flight

    New Orleans, LA
    Another vote for Brilliant Corners and Monk's Music. I have the AP 45s of both but the OJC pressings are just fine if you want vinyl (and the AP of Monk's Music is the rare stereo mix, which is a novelty but which I think is about even if you're comparing with the mono as far as impact -- apples and oranges sound wise).

    After that, go nuts. I like Criss Cross, Big Band and Quartet, Thelonious Himself, the Carnegie show with Coltrane and Thelonious Alone in San Francisco. Comparing the early Blue Note recordings to the later performances is also fascinating.
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  12. Gagnedouze

    Gagnedouze Forum Resident

    Monk's Dream. Fantastic!
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  13. tug_of_war

    tug_of_war Village Green Preservation Society Member

    I can't get enough of "Straight No Chaser", his second to last album for Columbia, released in 1967.
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  14. Isamet

    Isamet Forum Resident Thread Starter

    New York
    I picked up the 1982 OJC vinyl pressing of Brilliant Corners and it is indeed excellent. Receiving Monk’s Music AP SACD for the holidays and can’t wait to hear it. I think I’ll look for the CH with Coltrane next because I love Coltrane
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  15. Isamet

    Isamet Forum Resident Thread Starter

    New York
    Maybe this one too! Lol
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  16. tug_of_war

    tug_of_war Village Green Preservation Society Member

    A bit late :D but...
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  17. Isamet

    Isamet Forum Resident Thread Starter

    New York
    Is the Impex label vinyl considered to be an excellent pressing?

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