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» Thelonious Monk

Thelonious Monk
Born: October 10, 1917 in Rocky Mount, No
Died: February 17, 1982 in Weehawken, Ne
Active: '40s-'80s Major
Styles: Bop, Modal Music, Hard Bop
Instrument: Piano Representative
Albums: "The Complete Vogue Recordings/The Black Lion Sessions", "The Complete Blue Note Recordings", "The Complete Riverside Recordings" Representative
Songs: "Epistrophy", "'Round Midnight", "Ruby, My Dear"

UPC Type Title
074646549520 CD 1962-68-Monk Alone-Complete
048021120024 CD 1965
4988002514472 (i) CD 3 on 1
025218636223 CD 5 by Monk by 5
4988002517039 (i) CD 5 by Monk by 5
889397274412 Vinyl 5 by Monk by 5 (Ltd)
8013252203428 CD 8-Apr
805520130509 (i) CD Absolutely Essential
4988002390144 (i) CD Alone in San Francisco
4988005467980 (i) CD Alone in San Francisco
4988002508785 (i) CD Alone in San Francisco (Mini LP Sleeve)
889397274511 Vinyl Alone in San Francisco (Ltd)
7798141338092 (i) CD American Composer
4988002517046 (i) CD At Blackhawk
094634281119 Vinyl At Carnegie Hall
4547366013863 (i) CD At Newport 1963 & 1965
8436028691357 (i) DVD At Salle Pleyel Paris 1969
888072470439 CD At the Five Spot
888072301900 CD At Town Hall
4988005524751 (i) CD At Town Hall
8436028699056 (i) CD At Town Hall
077779563623 CD Best of the Blue Note Years
025218350624 CD Best of Thelonious Monk
886972405421 CD Big Band & Quartet in Concert
889397273910 Vinyl Brillant Corners
888072305014 CD Brilliant Corners
5050457136222 (i) CD Brilliant Corners
8436028694754 (i) CD Brilliant Corners
5060143493508 (i) CD Brilliant Corners
4988005524638 (i) CD Brilliant Corners
4988005467553 (i) CD Brilliant Corners
4988002335084 (i) CD Brilliant Corners
4988005726995 (i) CD Brilliant Corners
4988002491643 (i) CD Brilliant Corners
4988002508808 (i) CD Brilliant Corners (Mini LP Sleeve)
4988005504104 (i) CD Brilliant Corners (Mini LP Sleeve)
4988005704757 (i) CD Brilliant Corners
025218602617 Vinyl Brilliant Corners
8436028698882 (i) Vinyl Brilliant Corners
5060143491405 (i) Vinyl Brilliant Corners
025218732260 SACD Brilliant Corners
048021121120 CD Classic Jazz Performances
708857955121 CD Classic Quartet
8436028692415 (i) CD Comple Live at th Five Spots 1958
886979576827 CD Complete Thelonious Monk Quartet Col
4547366013818 (i) CD Criss Cross
886977051425 CD Criss-Cross
5099751335627 (i) CD Criss-Cross
4547366211276 (i) CD Criss-Cross
888072323247 CD Definitive Thelenious Monk on Prestige & Riverside
887254548027 (i) CD Die Zeit Legend Des Jazz
5036408118622 (i) CD Eight Classic Albums
696998917521 CD Essential Thelonious Monk
4547366013870 (i) CD Essential Thelonious Monk
090204894383 CD Evolution of an Artist
5022810196426 CD Four Classic Albums
8712177044818 (i) CD Four in One
886972331720 CD Greatest Hits
4988002508778 (i) CD Himself (Mini LP Sleeve)
4988002517053 (i) CD In Italy
7798136572548 (i) CD In Japan 1963
8436006496233 (i) CD In Philadelphia 1960 W/Steve Lacy
8026575202429 (i) CD Introspection: Complete 1947-52 Blue Note Sessions
4547366211283 (i) CD It's Monk's Time
4547366013825 (i) CD It's Monk's Time
4260019714152 Vinyl It's Monk's Time
074646353226 CD It's Monks Time
778325551520 CD Jazz Biography
824121001889 DVD Jazz Icons: Thelonious Monk
892094001144 DVD Jazz Icons-Thelonius Monk Live in Fran
7798136571848 (i) CD Jazz Masters Deluxe Collection
886976345822 (i) CD Just You Just Me-Best of
074646144923 CD Ken Burns Jazz
8436006496431 (i) CD Last Concerts
725543241818 Vinyl Live
094633517325 CD Live at Carnegie Hall
094633517424 (i) CD Live at Carnegie Hall
074646528822 CD Live at the It Club-Complete
888072303126 CD Live at the 1964 Monterey Jazz Festival
5099706518921 (i) CD Live at the Jazz Workshop Complete
805520090117 (i) CD Midnight Monk
888072337251 CD Misterioso
025218620628 CD Misterioso
4988002467785 (i) CD Misterioso
4988002390151 (i) CD Misterioso
4988002342020 (i) CD Misterioso
4988005727282 (i) CD Misterioso
4988005504395 (i) CD Misterioso (Mini LP Sleeve)
4988002510283 (i) CD Misterioso (Mini LP Sleeve)
025218620611 Vinyl Misterioso
725543241719 Vinyl Misterioso
888072315938 CD Monk
025218601627 CD Monk
4547366013832 (i) CD Monk
5099708656423 (i) CD Monk
5099706549529 (i) CD Monk Alone: Complete Columbia Solo
025218667029 CD Monk in France
8013252899010 (i) Vinyl Monk in France
025218648820 CD Monk in Italy
825005931629 CD Monk in Paris: Live at the Olympia
725543081612 Vinyl Monk Lonious: Complete Thelonious Monk at the It C..
4988002510276 (i) CD Monk Music (Mini LP Sleeve)
825005932329 CD Monk 'Round the World
878914000283 CD Monk the Transformer
8436539311249 (i) CD Monk, Thelonious (Quartet)/John Coltrane: Complete..
886972395326 CD Monk.
886972431420 CD Monk's Blues
8718627220917 (i) CD Monk's Blues
725543656315 Vinyl Monk's Blues
074646353622 CD Monk's Dream
8436542012881 (i) CD Monk's Dream
4547366013801 (i) CD Monk's Dream
8436542012515 (i) Vinyl Monk's Dream
4011222219428 (i) CD Monk's Mood/Well You
805520021012 (i) CD Monk's Moods
888072326897 CD Monk's Music
4988005727046 (i) CD Monk's Music
8436028691661 (i) CD Monk's Music (Incl. Bonus Tracks)
4988005504173 (i) CD Monk's Music (Mini LP Sleeve)
4988002467761 (i) CD Monk's Music
4988002491650 (i) CD Monk's Music
4988005467560 (i) CD Monk's Music
4988005707253 (i) CD Monk's Music
8436006494574 (i) Vinyl Monks Music
888072345904 CD Mulligan Meets Monk
4988005504777 (i) CD Mulligan Meets Monk (Mini LP Sleeve)
4988002510313 (i) CD Mulligan Meets Monk (Mini LP Sleeve)
4988002396900 (i) CD Mulligan Meets Monk
4988005468499 (i) CD Mulligan Meets Monk
4988005747709 (i) CD Mulligan Meets Monk
025218030113 Vinyl Mulligan Meets Monk
4011222310453 (i) CD Mysterious Blues
4988002510306 (i) CD Orchestra at Town Hall (Mini LP Sleeve)
886971454826 (i) CD Original Album Classics
886979289628 (i) CD Original Album Classics
602537460502 CD Paris 1969
602537460519 CD Paris 1969
602537460526 Vinyl Paris 1969
082333230521 (i) CD Paris Concert
879205000050 (i) CD Perfect
090431085622 CD Piano Solos
894231290626 CD Piano Solos-From the Archives
4988017635117 (i) CD Piano Solo
743214093627 (i) CD Piano Solo
4547366210828 (i) CD Piano Solo
886977724428 CD Playlist: The Very Best of Thelonious Monk
888072301283 CD Plays Duke Ellington
4988005524713 (i) CD Plays Duke Ellington
4988005504746 (i) CD Plays Duke Ellington (Mini LP Sleeve)
4988002505807 (i) CD Plays Duke Ellington (Mini LP Sleeve)
4988005467966 (i) CD Plays Duke Ellington
889397274610 Vinyl Plays Duke Ellington (Ltd)
025218102414 Vinyl Plays Duke Ellington
4988002328598 (i) CD Quintet
4988005804273 (i) CD Quintets
090431807521 CD Riffin
5060143490590 (i) CD Riverside Anthology
5060143499180 (i) CD Riverside Years
077775758825 CD Round Midnight & Other Jazz Cl
090431867129 CD Round Midnight
8436006494376 (i) CD Round Midnight
886977051821 CD Solo Monk
5099751335825 (i) CD Solo Monk
4547366013849 (i) CD Solo Monk (+9)
4988009452029 (i) SACD Solo Monk
887654137913 Vinyl Solo Munk
5060149621097 Vinyl Something in Blue
074646488621 CD Straight No Chaser
696998581227 CD Straight No Chaser
5099706488620 (i) CD Straight No Chaser
4547366004922 (i) CD Straight No Chaser
724353213923 CD Thelonious Monk: Vol. 2-Genius of Modern Music
025218442824 CD Thelonious Monk: Complete Prestige Recordings
888072300279 CD Thelonious Monk: Complete 1957 Riverside Recording..
888072301641 CD Thelonious Monk Trio
888072305106 CD Thelonious Himself
888072328440 CD Thelonious Alone in San Francisco
888072319899 CD Thelonious Monk
025218610322 CD Thelonious in Action
025218102223 CD Thelonious Monk: Complete Riverside Recordings
724353213824 CD Thelonious Monk: Vol. 1-Genius of Modern Music
025218625425 CD Thelonious Himself
5036408136220 (i) CD Thelonious Monk: Vol. 2-Six Classic Albums
4988006709621 (i) CD Thelonious Monk: Vol. 2-Genius of Modern Music
4988006756007 (i) CD Thelonious Monk: Vol. 2-Genius of Modern Music
4988005789181 (i) CD Thelonious Monk: Vol. 2-Genius of Modern Music
8712177005338 (i) CD Thelonious Monk: Vol. 2-Epistrophy
4988006826991 (i) CD Thelonious Monk: Vol. 2-Genius of Modern Music
4988005467362 (i) CD Thelonious Himself
4988002467747 (i) CD Thelonious Himself
8436028691579 (i) CD Thelonious Himself/Portrait of an Ermite
8436542010306 (i) CD Thelonious Alone in San Francisco
4988005727428 (i) CD Thelonious Alone in San Francisco
4988005726902 (i) CD Thelonious Himself
4988006709614 (i) CD Thelonious Monk: Vol. 1-Genius of Modern Music
4988005788962 (i) CD Thelonious Monk: Vol. 1 Genius of Modern Music
4988002491667 (i) CD Thelonious Monk
8436539310808 (i) CD Thelonious Monk: Complete Live at the Five Spot 19..
4988002395231 (i) CD Thelonious Monk
4520879008380 (i) CD Thelonious Monk
5397001063093 (i) CD Thelonious Monk
4988002505814 (i) CD Thelonious Monk Quintet (Mini LP Sleeve)
4988002328499 (i) CD Thelonious Monk Trio
4988005504579 (i) CD Thelonious Monk Trio (Mini LP Sleeve)
8436028697786 (i) CD Thelonious Monk: Complete 1951-54 Recordings
4988002511884 (i) CD Thelonious Monk: Complete 1957 Riverside Recording..
711574702114 Vinyl Thelonious Monk: Vol. 1-London Collection
4988002510290 (i) CD Thelonius in Action (Mini LP Sleeve)
8032979642297 (i) Vinyl Thelonius in Action Live (180 Gram Vinyl)
4988005504494 (i) CD Thilonious Alone in San Francisco (Mini LP Sleeve)
4988005467836 (i) CD Trio
4988005773029 (i) CD Trio
5099991551221 (i) CD Ultimate Thelonious Monk
4547366211269 (i) CD Underground
4547366013856 (i) CD Underground
8718469530274 (i) Vinyl Underground
4988005467973 (i) CD Unique
4988005727510 (i) CD Unique
4988002508792 (i) CD Unique (Mini LP Sleeve)
4988005504692 (i) CD Unique (Mini LP Sleeve)
025218606424 CD Unique Thelonious Monk
025218606417 Vinyl Unique Thelonious Monk
753088020919 Vinyl Unique Thelonious Monk
8436028693016 (i) CD Unissued in Europe 1971
8436028692996 (i) CD Unissued Live at Newport 1958-59
8436539311027 (i) CD Unissued Live at Newport 1958-59
888072337565 CD Very Best of Thelonious Monk
4988005722201 (i) CD Very Best of
880242571182 DVD Vol. 3-Thelonious Monk-American Composer
3460503678620 (i) CD We See-Jazz Reference
8712177042852 (i) CD Well' You Needn't
8718053744131 (i) CD When Be-Bop Was King

Biography: The most important jazz musicians are the ones who are successful in creating their own original world of music with its own rules, logic, and surprises. Thelonious Monk, who was criticized by observers who failed to listen to his music on its own terms, suffered through a decade of neglect before he was suddenly acclaimed as a genius; his music had not changed one bit in the interim. In fact, one of the more remarkable aspects of Monk's music was that it was fully formed by 1947 and he saw no need to alter his playing or compositional style in the slightest during the next 25 years.

Thelonious Monk grew up in New York, started playing piano when he was around five, and had his first job touring as an accompanist to an evangelist. He was inspired by the Harlem stride pianists (James P. Johnson was a neighbor) and vestiges of that idiom can be heard in his later unaccompanied solos. However, when he was playing in the house band of Minton's Playhouse during 1940-1943, Monk was searching for his own individual style. Private recordings from the period find him sometimes resembling Teddy Wilson but starting to use more advanced rhythms and harmonies. He worked with Lucky Millinder a bit in 1942 and was with the Cootie Williams Orchestra briefly in 1944 (Williams recorded Monk's "Epistrophy" in 1942 and in 1944 was the first to record "'Round Midnight"), but it was when he became Coleman Hawkins' regular pianist that Monk was initially noticed. He cut a few titles with Hawkins (his recording debut) and, although some of Hawkins' fans complained about the eccentric pianist, the veteran tenor could sense the pianist's greatness.

The 1945-1954 period was very difficult for Thelonious Monk. Because he left a lot of space in his rhythmic solos and had an unusual technique, many people thought that he was an inferior pianist. His compositions were so advanced that the lazier bebop players (although not Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker) assumed that he was crazy. And Thelonious Monk's name, appearance (he liked funny hats), and personality (an occasionally uncommunicative introvert) helped to brand him as some kind of nut. Fortunately, Alfred Lion of Blue Note believed in him and recorded Monk extensively during 1947-1948 and 1951-1952. He also recorded for Prestige during 1952-1954, had a solo set for Vogue in 1954 during a visit to Paris, and appeared on a Verve date with Bird and Diz. But work was very sporadic during this era and Monk had to struggle to make ends meet.

His fortunes slowly began to improve. In 1955, he signed with Riverside and producer Orrin Keepnews persuaded him to record an album of Duke Ellington tunes and one of standards so his music would appear to be more accessible to the average jazz fan. In 1956 came the classic Brilliant Corners album, but it was the following year when the situation permanently changed. Monk was booked into the Five Spot for a long engagement and he used a quartet that featured tenor saxophonist John Coltrane. Finally, the critics and then the jazz public recognized Thelonious Monk's greatness during this important gig. The fact that he was unique was a disadvantage a few years earlier when all modern jazz pianists were expected to sound like Bud Powell (who was ironically a close friend), but by 1957 the jazz public was looking for a new approach. Suddenly, Monk was a celebrity and his status would not change for the remainder of his career. In 1958, his quartet featured the tenor of Johnny Griffin (who was even more compatible than Coltrane), in 1959 he appeared with an orchestra at Town Hall (with arrangements by Hall Overton), in 1962 he signed with Columbia and two years later was on the cover of Time. A second orchestra concert in 1963 was even better than the first and Monk toured constantly throughout the 1960s with his quartet which featured the reliable tenor of Charlie Rouse. He played with the Giants of Jazz during 1971-1972, but then in 1973 suddenly retired. Monk was suffering from mental illness and, other than a few special appearances during the mid-'70s, he lived the rest of his life in seclusion. After his death it seemed as if everyone was doing Thelonious Monk tributes. There were so many versions of "'Round Midnight" that it was practically a pop hit! But despite the posthumous acclaim and attempts by pianists ranging from Marcus Roberts to Tommy Flanagan to recreate his style, there was no replacement for the original.

Some of Thelonious Monk's songs became standards early on, most notably "'Round Midnight," "Straight No Chaser," "52nd Street Theme," and "Blue Monk." Many of his other compositions have by now been figured out by other jazz musicians and are occasionally performed including "Ruby My Dear," "Well You Needn't," "Off Minor," "In Walked Bud," "Misterioso," "Epistrophy," "I Mean You," "Four in One," "Criss Cross," "Ask Me Now," "Little Rootie Tootie," "Monk's Dream," "Bemsha Swing," "Think of One," "Friday the 13th," "Hackensack," "Nutty," "Brilliant Corners," "Crepuscule With Nellie" (written for his strong and supportive wife), "Evidence," and "Rhythm-a-Ning," Virtually all of Monk's recordings (for Blue Note, Prestige, Vogue, Riverside, Columbia, and Black Lion) have been reissued and among his sidemen through the years were Idrees Sulieman, Art Blakey, Milt Jackson, Lou Donaldson, Lucky Thompson, Max Roach, Julius Watkins, Sonny Rollins, Clark Terry, Gerry Mulligan, John Coltrane, Wilbur Ware, Shadow Wilson, Johnny Griffin, Donald Byrd, Phil Woods, Thad Jones, and Charlie Rouse. His son Thelonious Monk, Jr. (T.S. Monk) has helped keep the hard bop tradition alive with his quintet and has headed the Thelonious Monk Institute, whose yearly competitions succeed in publicizing talented young players. ~ Scott Yanow, Rovi