The Best of Thelonious Monk

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Ronnie D. Lankford
Offering a "best-of" package from Thelonious Monk is a daunting task, even if the compiler sticks to his Riverside material between 1955 and 1960. Such a package, for instance, could only hint at the riches of an album like Brilliant Corners and Monk's Music. But why shouldn't a newcomer to the works of Monk have one great disc to draw him or her in? The Best of Thelonious Monk accomplishes just that, compiling pieces from the above mentioned albums, live tracks, and even a lovely solo version of the pianist's best-known piece, "'Round Midnight." The disc is packed -- with one exception -- with Monk's compositions, thus introducing the novice to all aspects of his ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Ronnie D. Lankford
Offering a "best-of" package from Thelonious Monk is a daunting task, even if the compiler sticks to his Riverside material between 1955 and 1960. Such a package, for instance, could only hint at the riches of an album like Brilliant Corners and Monk's Music. But why shouldn't a newcomer to the works of Monk have one great disc to draw him or her in? The Best of Thelonious Monk accomplishes just that, compiling pieces from the above mentioned albums, live tracks, and even a lovely solo version of the pianist's best-known piece, "'Round Midnight." The disc is packed -- with one exception -- with Monk's compositions, thus introducing the novice to all aspects of his work. Monk's joined by a who's who list of modern jazz greats including saxophonist John Coltrane, drummer Art Blakey, and tenor Sonny Rollins for trios, quartets, quintets, and sextets. There's a tremendous 11-minute take on "Well, You Needn't" and a nice interpretation of Duke Ellington's "Caravan." As this disc plainly shows, Monk's writing and piano style was beautifully idiosyncratic, and quite unlike anything else at the time or since. His solos on "Well, You Needn't" and "Brilliant Corners" range between mathematically precise to abstract, spinning precise patterns and then drifting freely. But while Monk's music was always difficult, he -- like Charles Mingus -- never forgot to write intriguing melodies. For those who have never experienced the brilliance of one of jazz's most distinct stylists, The Best of Thelonious Monk is a grand place to start.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 8/31/2004
  • Label: Riverside
  • UPC: 025218350624
  • Catalog Number: 5706
  • Sales rank: 175,206

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 'Round Midnight (6:42)
  2. 2 Off Minor (5:09)
  3. 3 Jackie-Ing (6:09)
  4. 4 Well, You Needn't (11:25)
  5. 5 Caravan (5:58)
  6. 6 I Mean You (9:50)
  7. 7 Ruby, My Dear (5:27)
  8. 8 Brilliant Corners (7:45)
  9. 9 Let's Call This (8:37)
  10. 10 Straight, No Chaser (6:57)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Thelonious Monk Primary Artist, Piano
Joe Gordon Trumpet
Gigi Gryce Alto Saxophone
Ernie Henry Alto Saxophone
Sam Jones Bass
Thad Jones Cornet
Harold Land Tenor Saxophone
Gerry Mulligan Baritone Saxophone
Oscar Pettiford Bass
Max Roach Drums
Sonny Rollins Tenor Saxophone
Charlie Rouse Tenor Saxophone
Wilbur Ware Bass
Coleman Hawkins Tenor Saxophone
Ray Copeland Trumpet
Art Blakey Drums
Kenny Clarke Drums
John Coltrane Tenor Saxophone
John Ore Bass
Shadow Wilson Drums
Technical Credits
Blind Willie Johnson Author
Cootie Williams Composer
Irving Mills Composer
Coleman Hawkins Composer
Duke Ellington Composer
Kirk Felton Remastering
Ray Fowler Engineer
Rudy Van Gelder Engineer
Reice Hamel Engineer
Jack Higgins Engineer
Orrin Keepnews Producer, Audio Production
Thelonious Monk Composer
Juan Tizol Composer
Bernie Hanighen Composer
Chip Stern Liner Notes
Jamie Putnam Art Direction
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