On this gorgeous Saturday afternoon I decided to share with you a gentleman who’s known in the jazz circles as the “High Priest of Bebop,” Thelonious Monk certainly qualifies as an artist you want to become familiar with on this intricate road to discovering historical voices in jazz. “Monk” the album, due out 9/8/2009 is a great place to begin with the music of the legendary jazz pianist. ~ The Urban FluxThelonious Monk | Monk [Prestige Records, 1953]
The position of legendary figure is usually reserved for a deceased musician who has played two decades before. It usually requires this posthumous status and span of time, for the various stories concerning him to grow into a legend but it took a very much alive Thelonious Monk only five years to surround himself with an air of mystery and receive the title “High Priest of Bebop” in the Forties. Perhaps this element of weird glamour prevented many people from enjoying Monk’s music to the fullest extent. Certainly he is always low man on the totem pole whenever the triumvirate of the founding fathers of bop is evaluated. This is due in part, no doubt, to the greater solo prowess of Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie, but Thelonious’s contributions in time, chord patterns, and the original lines resulting from them were unjustly minimized. Actually they were the basis for much of the jazz of the Forties and Fifties.
Released: September 8, 2009
Source: Concord Music Group, you’ll see a number of records by Monk you might want to check into.