The music from this 1963 studio session was evidently recorded for television broadcast while Thelonious Monk was touring Japan, just two days after the concert that produced the Columbia set Monk in Tokyo. With tenor saxophonist Charlie Rouse, bassist Butch Warren, and drummer Frankie Dunlop, Monk explores four of his own works ("Evidence," "Blue Monk," "Ba-Lue Bolivar Ba-Lues-Are," and "Epistrophy") along with his somewhat tongue-in-cheek solo piano interpretation of the standard "Just a Gigolo." This music has likely appeared on more than one budget label in addition to Four Star. Although none of these tracks are better than their more well-known counterparts from Monk's commercial releases, fans of his music will still want to pick up this somewhat obscure date.
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AllMusic Review by Ken Dryden