Customer Reviews for

Thelonious Monk: The Life and Times of an American Original

Average Rating 4.5
( 21 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 21 Customer Reviews
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  • Posted February 22, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    I was hoping for such a book on Monk

    I've been reading biographies of great jazz artists over the last year. There were several biographies available regarding Monk, but none of them were compelling enough - based on my reading of various reviews - to purchase. I finally became aware of Mr. Kelly's book. This book will surely be recognized as the definitive Monk biography. I feel that I now have a more realistic view of this great pianist, composer, and performer.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 21, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    It Was About His Music, Not His Eccentric Behavior

    Kelley makes it clear from the top, the hats he wore, dancing around the piano, not always showing up in time for a gig, and the 100 other little things that made Monk a true original, was not how he wants us to remember.

    Kelly stars at the very beginning, detailing how his roots began in the South and ended up in New York. The author tries to be very accurate about his clan throughout the whole book.

    The people in and out of the business who were there for Monk, were there up to the end. Record companies, most specifically Columbia tried to get as much "product" out as possible, Trios, big band, solo, whatever could push wax.

    Readers need patience when reading "Thelonious Monk." Stay calm, the 600 plus pages are worth the wait. Monk was not always really uderstood by critics and listners. Make up your own mind

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 20, 2010

    Thelonious Monk, an American original indeed!

    I'm 63 and fell in love with Monk's music at 16. I devoured Robin D.G. Kelley's book every spare minute I had. I would have loved to have heard Monk in person, but reading Mr. Kelley's book was almost like being there. In the process of telling the story of Thelonious Monk's life, Mr. Kelley tells the story of jazz and the struggles of black jazz musicians. Mr. Kelley spent more than 10 years researching the book and had access to Thelonious' family, and the detail is amazing. The story is there, warts and all, and feels like an accurate portrait of a jazz genius. This is a must read for the serious jazz-aphobe or the serious Monk-aphobe. Those without interest in music could get a little lost in the musical terminoloty at times, but it will also interest those with an interest in black history. Mr. Kelley is a serious scholar and teaches history and American studies at UCLA, but the book is anything but dry! I thank Mr. Kelley for bringing to life my favorite musician in the entire world. As Monk used to say, "The piano ain't got no wrong notes!"

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 16, 2013

    Dgdd

    Gyegwyedgfgdyf

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 9, 2013

    Lexi

    Hey dave! ;)

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 9, 2013

    Dave

    Threesome?

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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