Thelonious Monk rounding out the holiday weekend. A concert recorded in Stockholm on March 5, 1963 by the venerable Sveriges Radio in Sweden and lovingly preserved for generations to come.
The quartet features Charlie Rouse on Tenor sax, John Ore and bass and Frankie Dunlop on drums.
On the centenary of his birth in 2017, The Guardian’s Candace Allen wrote a pretty astonishing and thorough essay on the life and revolutionary music of Thelonious Monk.
Here’s a taste – but I would urge you to head over to the Guardian site, or just click on the article here and read the whole piece.
From The Guardian, November 6, 2017:
Consider this: both Dizzy Gillespie and Thelonious Monk were born in 1917. The creative DNA and brilliance of each musician were integral to the birth of modern jazz. For countless hours, weeks and months during the early 1940s they played, studied, argued and innovated together, along with Charlie Parker, drummer Kenny Clarke, bassist Oscar Pettiford, guitarist Charlie Christian and a steady progression of black men dedicated to exploring the possibilities of the music of their time, and to changing its shape. (And yes, aside from the pianist Mary Lou Williams and a number of female vocalists, this chapter in musical development is about the men.)
Then, by virtue of his crowd-pleasing pyrotechnic style, “dizzy as a fox” personality and willingness to school the squares, combined with the organisational gifts necessary to keep his bands together, trumpeter Gillespie’s career soared to the stars while pianist Monk, the jobbing musician who couldn’t, more than wouldn’t, conform to the conventions of the job, spent most of his professional life struggling to support his family.
Yet, although his dazzle is not dimmed, in their centennial year’s London jazz festival, Dizzy is treated to only one commemorative concert, while Monk and his music dominate two full days. We love Dizzy, but Monk’s multi-dimensional mystery tugs more insistently at our consciousness than Dizzy’s sophisticated, sun-drenched delight. The ineffable allure of shadows.
The power of Monk’s music hasn’t diminished, although the passage of time has made those of later generations to ask the proverbial “who?’ in response. Click on Play and get introduced if you aren’t already and dig through the mountains of material that exists on this Genius of Modern Music. Word.