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Any good starter compilations of Thelonious Monk? (on CD)

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21 minutes ago, Dave James said:

5 x 5 by Monk. 

 

 

 

Gets you some great Thad Jones too.

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On 24.9.2018 at 4:08 PM, JSngry said:

I wonder how many people of our ages actually started hearing Monk with the BN sides vs how many came to them with at least a little awareness of what was to follow.

I really can't recall details, but the first Monk I bought was the Blue Note twofer with that brown wrapping paper look. But the first Monk that got me hooked was the track Jackie-Ing from the Five By Monk By Five LP - it was played on local radio when that LP was reissued in Germany. That was years before the first buy.

Edited by mikeweil

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yeah, Jackie-ing got me big time too. It was on the Riverside Greatest Hits album I cited earlier. Other than the Mulligan track, that was one strong LP for a 15 year old! Rollins, Trane, Ernie Henry, Max, The best cut of the Town Hall set...talk about whetting an appetite, that one did it!

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Reading through this thread got me nostalgic... Thelonious Monk and Sonny Rollins was my intro. I was probably twenty at the time. I was cobbling a fledgling collection together with loose change and white rice.  The years that followed became an insatiable gorge on both discographies.

 

 

I worked in a record store as a second job seven or eight summers ago when my daughter was first born. Dude brings in a crate of records, most of which were the usual shit, but I'll be damned if an original pressing of Monk Rollins isn't packed right there in the middle. I told the store owner not to pass on the collection. Store owner bought the crate for a few bucks and gave me the LP as a gift. It was a generous and special gift to me and remains a prized possession. That record store still has a Nessa LP sleeve framed on its wall. 

In many ways, that record remains quintessential Monk. Unbalanced in almost every sense, but as sturdy as a pile of ballast stones at the bottom of a harbor.  

 

 

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That and Brilliant Corners (still perhaps the best pre Photoshop album cover of all time) are two hot mess masterpieces. 

He and Rollins somehow brought out the best in each other. 

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On 9/24/2018 at 10:08 AM, JSngry said:

I wonder how many people of our ages actually started hearing Monk with the BN sides vs how many came to them with at least a little awareness of what was to follow.

It was the BN sides for me but I came to jazz relatively late, around 2001 or so. I can't remember what came next, maybe Brilliant Corners.  I remember The Complete Prestige recordings being a big eye opener.  

Edited by Brad

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Wow! And I thought I got a late start. I started around ‘94/‘95. 

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3 hours ago, Scott Dolan said:

Wow! And I thought I got a late start. I started around ‘94/‘95. 

I didn’t get really interested in Jazz until 2000 or so. I’m a late bloomer :D

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5 hours ago, Scott Dolan said:

He and Rollins somehow brought out the best in each other. 

Truthfully, and if I have to choose, I prefer Monk with Rollins. It's bouncier!

Aside from "natural tendencies", I think the simpatico is also very much a function of time and place. Sonny was in a kind of raggedy place in his life and Monk was without his cabaret card/work. From all accounts, they hung out a lot, not "rehearsing", but just playing. The records are delightful snapshots, but I have a feeling that what happened there happened plenty of other times in Monk's crib. I'd wager a good amount of lunch money that there was some duet action going on that may exist only in the ether of once-made sounds. If there was a way to capture and retrieve that....

 

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:lol:

Now you're starting to sound like me wishing for the Monk & Dolphy: The Lost Village Vanguard Sessions box set.

But yeah, I'd gladly spring for the price of Monk & Rollins: Duets From The Living Room. 

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And not just the playing...Sonny has long said that Monk taught him more than anybody, before/after. Knowing what we do about Monk's grasp of both the concrete and the sublime, those conversations...

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