Friday, March 15, 2013

Thelonious Monk plays Duke Ellington [Full Album]

I'm a fan of Thelonius Monk, he wrote some rather unusual sounding songs in the 50s and 60s which have now become jazz standards ("Well you needn't", "Straight, no chaser", etc). His music sounds really angular, funky and unexpected by comparison to some of his contemporaries like Ahmad Jamal or McCoy Tyner for example. His sense of time is unique as well and is a big part of his composition and playing style.

On this early album, he covers Duke Ellington songs. Duke at that point was the elder statesman of jazz [along with Louis Armstrong] and one of the most respected composers and bandleaders. Because this isn't exactly the Monk songbook, its a little more reserved and "respectful" than the rest of his catalog. Excellent "Night in Tunisia (track 8)"

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