Thelonious Monk

Thelonious Monk in Italy

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Pianist-composer Thelonious Monk's final Riverside recording before signing with Columbia was cut during a concert in Italy, part of an extensive European tour that also resulted in recordings from Paris three days earlier. All eight of the songs (which include "Straight No Chaser," "Bemsha Swing," and "Rhythm-A-Ning") had been recorded in more definitive fashion earlier and, although Monk and his tenor Charlie Rouse sound fine, the bass and drum solos of bassist John Ore and drummer Frankie Dunlop on practically every song are consistently dull and unimaginative. This is not one of Monk's more significant dates, but his fans will still find moments to enjoy.

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