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Jazz - Released January 1, 2013 | CM BLUE NOTE (A92)

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Jazz - Released August 27, 2001 | Columbia - Legacy

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Jazz - Released November 29, 2013 | Sweet Memories

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Jazz - Released January 1, 1987 | Riverside

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Jazz - Released January 1, 2000 | CoolNote

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Jazz - Released September 6, 2012 | Entertainment Supplies

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Jazz - Released January 1, 1982 | Prestige Records

Any Thelonious Monk album that kicks off with a seven-minute version of "Blue Monk" is worth listening to. Backed alternately by bassists Percy Heath and Gary Mapp and drummers Art Blakey and Max Roach, Monk unleashes his idiosyncratic piano lines against a spare backdrop. Beautifully rendered, the opening piece is a highlight of the album, oddly combining disharmonic riffs within a melodic and very memorable structure. It's followed, surprisingly, by a rather tepid version of "Just a Gigolo," more lounge than jazz in execution. The set picks up again, however, on "Bemsha Swing" and later with a noisy "Little Rootie Tootie," another fascinating study in dissonance with some great drum work by Blakey. Because the album was pieced together from three different sessions, it's often difficult to identify the supporting players on individual cuts. Nonetheless, the small settings used on all ten pieces feature intricate interplay between bass, drums, and piano. They allow the necessary space for Monk's explorations, which conjure up images of a mathematician working out geometric patterns on the keyboard. While mathematical music may sound a bit cold and soulless, pieces like "Monk's Dream" and "Trinkle, Tinkle" evoke a sublime beauty as they build order out of chaos. Intimate, intense, and inspired, Thelonious Monk Trio offers 35 minutes of professional musicians practicing their craft. ~ Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr.
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Jazz - Released October 28, 1996 | Vogue

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Jazz - Released January 1, 1998 | Concord Records

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Jazz - Released January 1, 1961 | BnF Collection

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Jazz - Released November 8, 2012 | Star Evens Digital

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Jazz - Released April 15, 2011 | Fremeaux Heritage

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Jazz - Released April 1, 1964 | Legacy - Columbia

This is one of pianist-composer Thelonious Monk's greatest recordings and represents a high point in his career. Performing at Philharmonic Hall in New York, Monk is heard taking an unaccompanied solo on "Darkness on the Delta" and jamming with his quartet (which had Charlie Rouse on tenor, bassist Butch Warren, and drummer Frank Dunlop) on fine versions of "Played Twice" and a previously unreleased rendition of "Misterioso." However, this two-CD set has its most memorable moments during the six full-length performances by a ten-piece group. Monk's quartet was joined by cornetist Thad Jones, trumpeter Nick Travis, Steve Lacy on soprano, altoist Phil Woods, baritonist Gene Allen, and trombonist Eddie Bert. Jones and Woods have plenty of solos and, although Lacy surprisingly does not have any individual spots, his soprano is a major part of some of the ensembles. Most remarkable is "Four in One," which after one of Monk's happiest (and very rhythmic) solos features the orchestra playing a Hal Overton transcription of a complex and rather exuberant Monk solo taken from his original record. This two-CD set is a gem and can be considered essential for all jazz collections. ~ Scott Yanow
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Jazz - Released March 31, 2017 | Doxy Records

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Jazz - Released January 1, 1989 | Concord Records

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Jazz - Released October 31, 2005 | Dreyfus Jazz

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Jazz - Released October 19, 2013 | Jazz Classics

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Jazz - Released June 13, 2019 | RevOla

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Jazz - Released July 10, 2001 | Columbia - Legacy

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Jazz - Released January 1, 1955 | Riverside