Thelonious Monk Quintet – Live In Philadelphia 1960 – Past Daily Downbeat

Thelonious Monk - "Genius of Modern Music" -  for once, truth in advertising.
Thelonious Monk – “Genius of Modern Music” – for once, truth in advertising.

. . .or click on the link here for Audio Player – Thelonious Monk Quintet – Live at Connie Mack Park, Philadelphia – August 27, 1960 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection.

The inimitable, legendary, iconic Thelonious Monk and his Quintet this weekend, in concert from Connie Mack Park in Philadelphia and broadcast over the CBS Radio Network on August 27, 1960.

From a breathless (and somewhat over-the-top) introduction by TV-Radio Personality and musician Mitch Miller, Monk and Associates Steve Lacy, Charlie Rouse, John Ore and Roy Haynes settle down to business in this all-too-short set. No doubt it was much longer, but the time constraints of Mainstream Radio broadcasting at the time put it at under 20 minutes. Lucky that it was broadcast at all – but radio was a bit different then.

But the bottom line; Thelonious Monk was one of the brilliant innovators in Modern Jazz at the time. A rugged individual whose musical excursions were adventures in tonal color, resulting in a rich tapestry you could spend hours with. Seemingly simple (and that’s why detractors thought Monk was pulling everyone’s leg), yet further exploration yielded a complex mind at work with revolutionary results.

And maybe the sign of true genius is that ability to make it look deceptively simple.

If you aren’t familiar with the music of Thelonious Monk, here is a sample to get you started. Fortunately for everyone he has been well preserved on disc and download for many-many generations to come.

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