This unique tribute to pianist Thelonious Monk contains no music. It is poet John Sinclair's ode to the life and times of Monk, intertwined with the poet's personal musings on how these compositions relate to his own life. While not for everyone, Thelonious, Vol. 1: A Book of Monk acts as an oral history of the pianist's material released on Blue Note. Sinclair hopes future volumes will highlight the Prestige, Riverside, and Columbia sides. Sinclair has also released discs with similar dedications to John Coltrane, Muddy Waters, and Sonny Rollins (in which he is backed by a band) showing equal amounts of intensity and insight.
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AllMusic Review by Al Campbell