Ken Burns Jazz

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Thelonious Monk, jazz's greatest iconoclast, spent a lifetime exploring chords that others couldn't hear, writing tunes that they couldn't play. Starting at the dawn of the bebop revolution, he composed music in obscurity for many years before those outside a small circle of Harlem musicians began to understand. Monk's compositional ingenuity produced a songbook whose emotional depth has been exceeded only by Duke Ellington's. He never abandoned his group concept, for all the changes in jazz fashion that took place over thirty years. His piano style has remained so fresh that while others have borrowed elements from it, none has ever tried to copy it whole. And his recorded output now sounds like the most ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble
Thelonious Monk, jazz's greatest iconoclast, spent a lifetime exploring chords that others couldn't hear, writing tunes that they couldn't play. Starting at the dawn of the bebop revolution, he composed music in obscurity for many years before those outside a small circle of Harlem musicians began to understand. Monk's compositional ingenuity produced a songbook whose emotional depth has been exceeded only by Duke Ellington's. He never abandoned his group concept, for all the changes in jazz fashion that took place over thirty years. His piano style has remained so fresh that while others have borrowed elements from it, none has ever tried to copy it whole. And his recorded output now sounds like the most consistently creative and engaging of all the postwar giants.
All Music Guide - Steve Huey
In conjunction with the release of Ken Burns' ten-part, 19-hour epic PBS documentary Jazz, Columbia issued 22 single-disc compilations devoted to jazz's most significant artists, as well as a five-disc historical summary. Since the individual compilations attempt to present balanced overviews of each artist's career, tracks from multiple labels have thankfully been licensed where appropriate. Accordingly, Thelonious Monk's volume draws from his early piano trio recordings with Blue Note and his expanded ensembles and solo explorations for Riverside and Columbia. Monk frequently re-recorded many of his now-standard compositions in different formats, so it's difficult to choose definitive versions; the compilers have wisely opted to present the full spectrum of arrangement approaches Monk employed over the course of his career. Not quite all of Monk's best-known pieces are here, but the vast majority are: "Well You Needn't," "Misterioso," "Epistrophy," "Straight, No Chaser," "Ruby, My Dear," and of course "'Round Midnight." There are also excellent supplementary choices like "Brilliant Corners," which was too complicated to really become a standard and had to be pieced together from several studio takes because the musicians never quite got through it flawlessly. Monk made a tremendous amount of brilliant, harmonically quirky music over the course of his career, and Ken Burns Jazz makes an excellent entry point for the neophyte who wants to begin exploring what Monk was all about.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 11/7/2000
  • Label: Sony
  • UPC: 074646144923
  • Catalog Number: 61449

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Well, You Needn't (2:57)
  2. 2 Epistrophy (3:08)
  3. 3 Misterioso (3:22)
  4. 4 Straight, No Chaser (2:57)
  5. 5 Blue Monk (7:38)
  6. 6 Brilliant Corners (7:46)
  7. 7 Ruby, My Dear (6:20)
  8. 8 Trinkle, Tinkle (6:40)
  9. 9 Off Minor (7:51)
  10. 10 Rhythm-A-Ning (3:56)
  11. 11 Criss-Cross (4:43)
  12. 12 Green Chimneys (9:06)
  13. 13 'Round Midnight (3:51)
  14. 14 Nice Work If You Can Get It (5:11)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Thelonious Monk Primary Artist, Piano
Pepper Adams Baritone Saxophone
Eddie Bert Trombone
Larry Gales Bass
Ernie Henry Alto Saxophone
Milt Jackson Vibes
Sam Jones Bass
Oscar Pettiford Bass
Max Roach Drums
Sonny Rollins Tenor Saxophone
Charlie Rouse Tenor Saxophone
Art Taylor Drums
Wilbur Ware Bass
Al McKibbon Bass
Gene Ramey Bass
Percy Heath Bass
Ben Riley Drums
Art Blakey Drums
Donald Byrd Trumpet
John Coltrane Tenor Saxophone
Frankie Dunlop Drums
Jay McAllister Tuba
Robert "Brother Ah" Northern French Horn
John Ore Bass
Sahib Shihab Alto Saxophone
John Simmons Bass
Shadow Wilson Drums
Phil Woods Alto Saxophone
Technical Credits
Bob Belden Discographical Information
Ken Burns Executive Producer
Michael Cuscuna Discographical Information
Didier C. Deutsch Discographical Information
Peter Keepnews Liner Notes
Hall Overton Arranger
Mark Wilder Mastering
Herman Leonard Cover Photo
Howard Fritzson Art Direction
Hollis King Art Direction
Ben Young Discographical Information
Carlos Kase Discographical Information
Seth Foster Mastering
John Christiana Packaging Manager
Lauren Atlas Packaging Manager
Adam Owett Art Direction
Clare Walker Packaging Manager
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