Thelonious Monk

The London Collection, Vol. 1

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The first of three Black Lion CDs in this valuable series features music from the last significant Thelonious Monk recording session. There are ten solo performances on the spirited and generally joyful program with Monk sounding at his best on five of his originals (including the striding "Blue Sphere") plus typically unique versions of "Darn That Dream," "Meet Me Tonight in Dreammland," "Nice Work If You Can Get It," "My Melancholy Baby" and "Lover Man." Although virtually at the end of his career and playing in a style unchanged from 25 years earlier, Thelonious Monk is in prime form and seems quite enthusiastic during these memorable performances. All three volumes (which have also been reissued by Black Lion in a compact box) are easily recommended.

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