Thelonious Monk


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With his angular piano lines, odd spaces and pauses, dissonant resolves, and quirky compositional sense, Thelonious Monk was a maverick among mavericks in the bop world, an enigma whose body of work is instantly recognizable, stubbornly consistent, and as insular and mysterious as it was when he first began recording as a bandleader some 60 years ago. This set picks highlights from those early sessions, including the original recorded versions of "Well, You Needn't," "In Walked Bud," "Ruby My Dear," and "'Round Midnight," featuring such players as drummers Art Blakey and Max Roach, vibraphonist Milt Jackson, pianist Horace Silver, and alto saxophonist Lou Donaldson, among others. This is where the enigma that is Monk on record begins.

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