Thursday, October 10, 2013

Monk's pieces

Because of his name, his looks, his life, the way he played, which some see as some sort of overarching weirdness, Thelonious Monk is one of last century’s most recognizable jazz musicians.

He was a very interesting composer too. Firmly anchored in the popular-song-and-blues genre, he left under a hundred pieces, some which have become well-known standards.

However, there's much more than the half-dozen overused items of Monkiana that we all know. Since today it's his birthday, I'm posting this almost-complete Spotify playlist, based on the list of Monk's compositions at MonkZone website, with all that is known and, perhaps, not so known from him.

Missing from the playlist are three tracks from the London sessions for the Black Lion label ("Blue Sphere", "Chordially", and "Something in Blue"), as well as "Harlem Is Awfully Messy" (copyrighted but never recorded), and "A Merrier Christmas" (of which there's a private recording with Monk singing—this version is by Dianne Reeves with Benny Green).

Comments, additions, corrections, will be most welcome.