Thelonious Monk


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First, this isn't Thelonious Monk performing in a trio setting, but is rather an entry in Columbia's Trios series, which combines three separate albums by one artist in a single package. Monk recorded for Columbia from 1962 through 1968, and although jazz critics often prefer his earlier recordings, Monk's time with the label produced an incredible amount of new material (by Monk's standards, anyway) and his revisits to his older compositions during this period were often revelatory if not actually definitive, making his stay at Columbia a successful one by even the most stringent standards. This set combines the albums Criss-Cross from 1962, Straight, No Chaser from 1967 (not to be mistaken for the soundtrack of the same name from 1988), and Underground from 1967, all of which feature Charlie Rouse, perhaps Monk's most sympathetic sideman, on tenor saxophone. Each of these albums is well worth having, so getting all three in one package might save the general wear and tear of making three separate trips to the neighborhood music store.

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