Rare Thelonious Monk Recordings Due
Monk 'Round the World, which collects seven live performances by the legendary
jazz pianist and composer Thelonious Monk, will be released by Thelonious Records/Hyena
on August 3.
The recordings, which until now have only been available on European bootlegs,
are drawn from five different concerts that took place across Europe between
1961 and 1964. The album features liner notes by basketball legend and self-professed
Monk fanatic Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Produced by Thelonious Records' founders T.S.
Monk (Thelonious Monk's son) and Dr. Peter Grain, along with Hyena Records founder
and veteran producer Joel Dorn, Monk 'Round the World is the second of
a series of Thelonious Monk albums the two labels will release as a collaborative
"The more I listen to Monk and the more I explore his music, the more I think, in the realm of modern jazz, Monk was the one," Dorn was quoted as saying in a recent press release. "I don't know of any other artist who was as definitely the past, the present and the future all at once."
Thelonious Records and Hyena first partnered last year to release Monk in Paris: Live at the Olympia. Their collaboration marks the first time that the Monk estate has opened its vaults to national distribution. The series was designed in part to make bootleg recordings and previously unreleased performances legally available, and also to help introduce Monk’s legendary, timeless jazz compositions to a new generation of listeners.
The new album will include a DVD that captures the renowned jazz composer and
pianist live at London's Marquee Club in 1965. Monk 'Round the World features
a number of Monk's high-profile early-to-mid-'60s quartets, and highlights his
longtime relationship with saxophonist Charlie Rouse, who joined Monk's group
Monk 'Round The World opens with the classic "Epistrophy" from the Monterey
Jazz Festival in 1963, followed by "Blue Monk," which many consider his most
celebrated and recognizable song, from a 1964 concert at The Alhambra in Paris.
also features "Ruby, My Dear," also from The Alhambra show; "Rhythm-A-Ning" from
a performance at the Odd Fellow Palaet in Copenhagen, Denmark in 1961; "Bemsha
Swing" from a Swedish performance in 1961; and "Hackensack" from an undetermined
European location in 1964. Jenny Tatone [Thursday, July 1, 2004]