Saturday, February 7, 2009

Saturday Night At The Liberal Curmudgeon: Thelonious Monk, Oslo 1966

"You know, anybody can play a composition and use far-out chords and make it sound wrong. It's making it sound right that's not easy." –Thelonious Monk, 1961

Thelonious Monk was one of jazz's geniuses. While he was considered to be among the founders of bebop, his style and compositions were too innovative to remain categorized according to one school. He was known for his dischords, angular improvisations, and use of space and silence. This video of a performance of "Blue Monk" focuses at one point on Monk's hands, showing his percussive approach to the piano, including playing with his arms crossed. Monk is joined by the group that played with him during his peak years, 1964-1967, at Columbia Records: Charlie Rouse, tenor sax; Larry Gales, bass, and Ben Riley, drums.

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