During a three year period following his Blue Note session of July 2, 1948, Thelonious Monk made no studio recordings as a leader. This second installment in the complete recordings of Monk as reissued in the Classics Chronological Series presents the master takes from Monk's Blue Note and Prestige sessions dating from July 23, 1951 through December 18, 1952. This portion of Monk's discography is a rich blend of 15 original compositions and five jazz standards, performed in the company of skilled improvisers like vibraphonist Milt Jackson, trumpeter Kenny Dorham, and saxophonists Lou Donaldson, Sahib Shihab, and Lucky Thompson. Monk's bassists during this 17-month period were Al McKibbon, Nelson Boyd, and Gary Mapp. His drummers were Art Blakey and Max Roach. Monk would continue to record for Prestige until September 1954; his fruitful working relationship with Riverside would commence in July 1955. By concentrating on master takes and combining the all too often separated selections from the Blue Note and Prestige catalogs, Classics has once again done a splendid job of reissuing great historic jazz recordings with a detailed disocgraphical session index and insightful liner notes that will enable the listener to better understand and fully enjoy this great music.
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