Thelonious Monk

The Very Best of Jazz

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The Very Best of Jazz series on Concord/Universal is for all practical purposes, a new budget set of compilations that looks over a particular artist's tenure at either Prestige, Riverside, Fantasy, or one of the affiliate labels Concord acquired when it purchased Fantasy Records in the early 21st century. This double disc by Thelonious Monk serves as an excellent best-of, as well as a brilliant introduction to one of the greatest composers and stylists to emerge from the bebop generation. Collected here are 20 tracks that include some original versions of his greatest compositions: "Blue Monk," "Bemsha Swing," "'Round Midnight," and many others, as well as stellar readings of standards such as "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes," "April in Paris," and Duke Ellington's "I Got It Bad and That Ain't Good." This set even includes a couple of original and alternate takes for "Straight No Chaser" and "Monk's Mood."

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