Recorded in 1961, Monk in Copenhagen captures Thelonious Monk with his quartet live in concert, performing a repertoire of his tunes (plus a solo piano version of "Body and Soul"). Although this is a typical performance for the time, Monk was at what many believe to be the height of his powers. Too, he had finally begun to receive much deserved public recognition for his brilliance, despite his odd personal mannerisms. The advantage of a live recording is that the quartet gets to stretch out, so that solos are more developed and the individual tracks are generally longer than studio versions of the same songs. The overall recording time is generous, too, so that even though there may be nothing in particular to distinguish this recording from others, it is nonetheless a fine sample of Monk's work with his usual quartet. Tenor saxophonist Charlie Rouse is in good form, and bassist John Ore and drummer Frankie Dunlop are strong in support. Monk's solo take of "Body and Soul" is characteristically attractively quirky, and, although short, arguably the highlight of the album. While this recording is hardly indispensable Monk, it is nonetheless excellent work from the artist, and a solid addition to his discography.
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AllMusic Review by Steve Loewy