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#2884305 - 10/10/17 03:10 PM 100 years of Monk
hurricane hugo Offline
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Thank you, universe of random chance, for rolling the dice at just the right moment to see to it that Thelonious Monk was born on this planet and no other. grin

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#2884307 - 10/10/17 03:36 PM Re: 100 years of Monk [Re: hurricane hugo]
16251 Offline
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Posts: 2631
The original Hiromi.



<disclaimer: this is a joke and not about the music>


Edited by 16251 (10/10/17 03:38 PM)
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#2884309 - 10/10/17 03:46 PM Re: 100 years of Monk [Re: 16251]
count doerflera Offline
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Originally Posted By: 16251
this is a joke


sure is. cop
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#2884310 - 10/10/17 04:02 PM Re: 100 years of Monk [Re: count doerflera]
GRollins Offline
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Monk's a weird case for me. Sometimes I like his style. Sometimes I hate it. Same songs. Same recordings. It's just that he hits me differently on different days.

Grey
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#2884341 - 10/10/17 10:23 PM Re: 100 years of Monk [Re: GRollins]
Mark Schmieder Offline
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I'm planning on attending the centennial celebration at new England Conservatory during a family visit next week.

No matter how many times I play Monk's songs, I never do them the same way twice! There's a lifetime of discovery in those tunes!
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#2884367 - 10/11/17 05:37 AM Re: 100 years of Monk [Re: Mark Schmieder]
Strays Dave Offline
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He forged his own style and sound at a time (1940's) when almost everybody else was tripping over themselves to sound like the latest jazz rage, Charlie Parker.

To anyone new to the wonderful world of Monk's music, I recommend checking out his stuff with John Coltrane. There are 2 good albums with Monk and Coltrane that I"m aware of. "Thelonious Monk with John Coltrane" and a Carnegie Hall concert that was thankfully mic'd and recorded well.

To my ears, Coltrane's fluid style and Monk's jagged dissonant style contrast and combine nicely. My favorite of Monk's recordings. They're all out there on YouTube.


Edited by Strays Dave (10/11/17 05:39 AM)
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#2884371 - 10/11/17 05:59 AM Re: 100 years of Monk [Re: Strays Dave]
GRollins Offline
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It's the dissonance that bothers me. Dissonance, to me, is like salt. You sprinkle a little on as seasoning. Monk's style (to me, no one else need agree) is as though someone left the top loose on the salt...try to add a little and the top falls off, dumping a mound of overly aggressive seasoning all over everything.

I say that even though I've grown more tolerant of dissonance as time passes. I honestly wish I could like him more, but it's difficult. Too much sodium in my diet, I guess.

Grey
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#2884374 - 10/11/17 06:37 AM Re: 100 years of Monk [Re: GRollins]
cgiles Offline
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Registered: 02/22/13
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I too have mixed feelings about Monk. But when I realize that he wrote 'round midnight, one of most beautiful tunes of any genre' (not necessarily Monk's version), I have to think that that alone qualifies him for jazz's 'hall of fame'. I've listened to a hundred different interpretations of that tune and I still don't know whose version I like best; Peterson's? Miles'? Coltrane's? All I know is that every version seems to bring out the soul of the artist, and that to me is what great music should do.

chas
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#2884406 - 10/11/17 09:17 AM Re: 100 years of Monk [Re: cgiles]
dsetto Offline
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Rhythmically is where I find him to be the most. Good centennial.

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#2884427 - 10/11/17 10:31 AM Re: 100 years of Monk [Re: dsetto]
gg22 Offline
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Registered: 08/03/14
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Don't like him at all, except "round midnight". It's even hard to believe that he wrote it.

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#2884439 - 10/11/17 11:41 AM Re: 100 years of Monk [Re: gg22]
MAJUSCULE Offline
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Loc: Edmonton, Alberta
Love him, though I also wouldn't listen to him every day. I do prefer him to Bill Evans. To each their own. idk
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#2884516 - 10/11/17 07:06 PM Re: 100 years of Monk [Re: MAJUSCULE]
Strays Dave Offline
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Something I learned 40 years ago. Repeated listenings. If you don't quite get something, and give it actual focused listenings, you can penetrate it to. To what degree ? Varies. Stravinsky has some delicious dissonances. I'm particularly fond of "Symphonies of Wind Instruments".

I'd say dissonance is sort of like higher math. Maybe because they are the higher overtones ?

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#2884517 - 10/11/17 07:23 PM Re: 100 years of Monk [Re: Strays Dave]
16251 Offline
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Monk has many facets to enjoy. I'm mostly inspired by his composition and feel the audience always enjoys his tunes. I like his original concepts when playing piano. I especially like hearing him play other composer's tunes and making them his own.

One of many examples

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#2884523 - 10/11/17 07:45 PM Re: 100 years of Monk [Re: Strays Dave]
GRollins Offline
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Registered: 09/01/17
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Originally Posted By: Strays Dave
Stravinsky has some delicious dissonances.


Firebird works better for me than Rite Of Spring precisely because it is less dissonant. I could listen to Firebird over and over and be a happy camper. Rite Of Spring...one listen and I'm done for a while. I like it, but it's not something I can do on repeat mode. I have to space it out; maybe listen to it once a month or something, rather than every day.

Grey
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#2884525 - 10/11/17 07:51 PM Re: 100 years of Monk [Re: cgiles]
Paul Harrison Offline
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Registered: 04/20/11
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Loc: Adelaide, Australia
Originally Posted By: cgiles
I too have mixed feelings about Monk. But when I realize that he wrote 'round midnight, one of most beautiful tunes of any genre' (not necessarily Monk's version), I have to think that that alone qualifies him for jazz's 'hall of fame'. I've listened to a hundred different interpretations of that tune and I still don't know whose version I like best; Peterson's? Miles'? Coltrane's? All I know is that every version seems to bring out the soul of the artist, and that to me is what great music should do.


I like this version by Ronnie Earl, with Bruce Katz on Hammond.



Originally Posted By: GRollins
It's the dissonance that bothers me. ...


Hans Groiner (aka Larry Goldings) agrees. wink


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#2884533 - 10/11/17 08:37 PM Re: 100 years of Monk [Re: Paul Harrison]
matted stump Offline
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Ah yes, Hans smoothes everything out...
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#2884555 - 10/12/17 12:54 AM Re: 100 years of Monk [Re: matted stump]
Mark Schmieder Offline
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I prefer Rite of Spring to Firebird by a long shot, and don't sense dissonance in it or in Monk's music. Perhaps because the upper harmonics align so well.
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#2884556 - 10/12/17 01:10 AM Re: 100 years of Monk [Re: Mark Schmieder]
Spider76 Offline
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Registered: 08/01/13
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He truly was a unique "happy accident" in the history of music. No one like him, before or after.

As gifted as he was as a pianist, I find his main gift was composing. As others mentioned, it's unbelievable how his tunes bring out the best from anyone interpreting them. Every time I get lost in a Monk song, I go to places I didn't know I could reach.
And of course it's not just me. I think a certain Miles Davis said more or less the same.

Thanks for showing the way, Thelonious. Happy century.

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#2884633 - 10/12/17 10:05 AM Re: 100 years of Monk [Re: Spider76]
MAJUSCULE Offline
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Yeah, no kidding. Those of you who think Round Midnight is his only composing achievement... Go check out Ruby, My Dear, I Mean You, In Walked Bud, Evidence, Monk's Dream, Straight, No Chaser, Bemsha Swing, Crepuscule with Nellie, and on and on and on...

Truly a giant in the jazz composers world. Mount Rushmore stuff.
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#2884663 - 10/12/17 02:40 PM Re: 100 years of Monk [Re: MAJUSCULE]
Spider76 Offline
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Registered: 08/01/13
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Well, you needn't. What a tune.

One of my jazz mentors always said: "You wanna understand jazz? Listen to blues and Monk. You don't need nothing more."


One maybe lesser-known fact, that may give a better idea of how huge Monk has been for jazz:

"Monk is the second most-recorded jazz composer after Duke Ellington, which is particularly remarkable as Ellington composed more than a thousand pieces, whereas Monk wrote about 70.[4]"

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thelonious_Monk


Edited by Spider76 (10/12/17 03:01 PM)

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#2884674 - 10/12/17 04:18 PM Re: 100 years of Monk [Re: Spider76]
Strays Dave Offline
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Registered: 01/06/16
Posts: 43
Originally Posted By: Spider76


One maybe lesser-known fact, that may give a better idea of how huge Monk has been for jazz:

"Monk is the second most-recorded jazz composer after Duke Ellington, which is particularly remarkable as Ellington composed more than a thousand pieces, whereas Monk wrote about 70.[4]"

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thelonious_Monk


Monk did have his glory days. Maybe around 1959 or so he was on Time magazine cover IIRC. He was a jazz star in the late 1950's. You can watch YT concerts of him with his band in places like Paris or Berlin - or places similar.

And you brought up Ellington. He's in my personal holy trinity (Beatles, Keith Jarrett 1970's quartets (both American and European) , and Ellington/Strayhorn. Billy Strayhorn worked mostly behind the scenes in NYC. While the Duke and the band were on the road, he mostly (not always) wrote and arranged. A pretty great gig. Sometimes he'd get tired or annoyed of Duke getting accolades for something he'd actually done. A couple of times he wanted to quit Duke. Duke would sweet talk him. And send him to Paris for 2 or 3 weeks. Tell him to buy whatever expensive clothes he wanted to over there. Pay for it all. Strayhorn was gay in a time when gays couldn't be open. But living in NYC and working for Duke, who didn't care, Billy could live it openly. Lucky for someone of his time.

I think this is credited to Ellington/Strayhorn. But I'd wager it's Strayhorn's brainchild. I love Al Hibbler's voice too.





Edited by Strays Dave (10/12/17 04:19 PM)
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#2884768 - 10/13/17 06:57 AM Re: 100 years of Monk [Re: Strays Dave]
Al Quinn Offline
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I love Monk -- his compositions, his playing, his quirkiness, his attitude -- but, at the same time, have no trouble understanding why others don't.

He was one of a handful of true innovators. I hear his influence in so many of my favorite players.
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#2884839 - 10/13/17 11:07 AM Re: 100 years of Monk [Re: Spider76]
cedar Offline
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Registered: 10/04/14
Posts: 816
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: Spider76
Well, you needn't. What a tune.

One of my jazz mentors always said: "You wanna understand jazz? Listen to blues and Monk. You don't need nothing more."


One maybe lesser-known fact, that may give a better idea of how huge Monk has been for jazz:

"Monk is the second most-recorded jazz composer after Duke Ellington, which is particularly remarkable as Ellington composed more than a thousand pieces, whereas Monk wrote about 70.[4]"

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thelonious_Monk


Monk only wrote 70 tunes? I know that the article cites a reference for that claim, but it really is hard for me to imagine. I have a couple of Monk fake books with about that many tunes, and I assumed it only represented a fraction of his output.

Here's a factoid: I came across a video of Fred Hersch the other day, in which he introduces a Monk tune by saying that he thought that he played at least 1 Monk tune in EVERY one of his sets.

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#2884880 - 10/13/17 02:01 PM Re: 100 years of Monk [Re: cedar]
Bobadeath Offline
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This may sound 'hipster' or elitist or condescending but I'm just being truthful:

When I was younger I didn't dig his music much at all.

But every year that passes as I mature as a player and jazz musician I am more and more floored by the heavy heavy genius of Monk.

The dissonance is so entirely calculated. His compositions are exquisitely balanced -- paintings in sound. He did things in the 40s and 50s that are still so cutting edge. Not cutting edge for the sake of being cutting edge. But cutting edge in an assertion of a unique, strong artistic perspective. I almost can't believe he wrote all these tunes and so long ago.

His sense of time is incredible too. Plenty of space, used like an artist. Swing. Accents. Feel. MELODIES. Yes, he is a master of melody, don't be fooled. (just listen to the aforementioned Round Midnight or Monk's Mood).

One needn't dig him, but there is no disputing that Monk is a master. Not a master like Cecil Taylor where some very great names really just thing he's full of $#!% -- an incontrovertable, revered master of swing, harmony, dissonance, and composition.

I invite you to play some of his stuff for yourself and to revisit him every once in a while. You just might find yourself acquiring this taste.
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#2884890 - 10/13/17 02:59 PM Re: 100 years of Monk [Re: Bobadeath]
newkeys Offline
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Sort of a side-note: I feel like some of Monk's tunes maybe still haven't been definitively recorded by anyone (including Monk).

To me his recorded output is reminiscent of some gifted but quirkly singer-songwriters later on, who never had a permanent band or producer: some songs get put in the hands of sympathetic players and get the realization they deserve; others are crudely outlined by journeymen and never reach their potential on record.

I also get the sense that Monk was not the production/arrangement genius that Miles was, when it came to getting the right performance out of players.

It's certainly fair to judge Monk by his own albums; I just think some of the albums could have done the songs more justice. When he had a Blakey, Trane, or Thad Jones interpreting his material, amazing things happened.

I love the sheet music for stuff like "Ugly Beauty," which seems to be pretty much Monk's own original written version of the tune, with all the voicings spelled out. Real pretty.


Edited by newkeys (10/13/17 03:03 PM)

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#2884906 - 10/13/17 05:07 PM Re: 100 years of Monk [Re: newkeys]
Mark Schmieder Offline
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Yep Bobadeath got it: Monk is like aural painting. I feel like I am inside a frame, exploring the bounds and the colour palette and what happens if I mix red and grey and blue comes out.
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#2884914 - 10/13/17 06:10 PM Re: 100 years of Monk [Re: Mark Schmieder]
Dave Ferris Offline
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As a Jazz composer, he sits at the highest pinnacle right next to Ellington, Strayhorn, Horace Silver, Shorter , Hancock and Corea.

As a player, he has the unique distinction of being a modern Jazz stylist - that is, he has influenced countless instrumentalists and vocalists over multi-generations in the same way as Bird, Bud Powell, Gillespie, Miles, Bill Evans, Rollins, Coltrane, McCoy, Chick, Herbie, Keith and Brecker.

I'd have a hard time not naming a jazz pianist (at least that I like) in the last 40 years without hearing at least a reference, or a "Monkism" in their playing or compositions.

I didn't see "Reflections" or "Bye Ya" mentioned. Both underplayed and great tunes !

Regarding his long time core group of Charlie Rouse, John Ore/ Frankie Dunlop and Larry Gales/Ben Riley on Columbia. I don't think you could have found a better voice then Rouse to interpret those melodies. A comment that Sonny Rollins actually made. And the quirky swing that both Dunlop and Riley brought were unmatched by anyone.

Really great, more contemporary recordings have been made by the group Sphere , consisting of Charlie Rouse, Kenny Barron, Buster Williams and Ben Riley. If you can hear any tracks off of their two studio albums- highest recommendation.

People will be playing his tunes and will still be influenced by Monkisms one hundred years from now.
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#2884915 - 10/13/17 06:11 PM Re: 100 years of Monk [Re: Mark Schmieder]
Strays Dave Offline
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Registered: 01/06/16
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I happened to listen to "Ruby My Dear". I like it as much as "Round Midnight".

Monk with Coltrane



And this is Ellington solo in a Paris TV studio around 1970 or so.
It's nice to see the actual person working his magic.
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#2884971 - 10/14/17 07:18 AM Re: 100 years of Monk [Re: Strays Dave]
Al Quinn Offline
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A wonderful musician paying tribute to Monk this weekend in NYC

Joey DeFrancesco Plays Monk
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