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CJ Shearn

Monk Palo Alto review

23 posts in this topic

Thanks for sharing.

I think you should reconsider your racial commentary, particularly the final sentence:

"The fact the group was able to promote racial harmony in a community and country in turmoil was clearly inspiring to them as they gave the audience at Palo Alto High School a sparkling show."

I don't think there's any basis for this - that they were promoting any racial harmony, nor that it was the source of the good feelings in the music. Is anyone from the band quoted (I cop to not reading the liners yet, only all the reporting before the CD was issued)? Did they know about East Palo Alto and the issues there?

Personally my thought was, how often did they have a gig at a high school? Maybe they were inspired because they weren't in a formal concert hall or in a noisy bar, but in a school auditorium. Maybe that inspired them?

I personally perceive it to be two separate stories - a young high school kid pulling off the unexpected, and by promoting in both cities, getting a crowd curious enough to turn out and wait to see if Monk would show - and Monk's group putting on a fine concert. That's the cherry on top of this musical sundae.

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Dan Gould said:

I think you should reconsider your racial commentary, particularly the final sentence:

"The fact the group was able to promote racial harmony in a community and country in turmoil was clearly inspiring to them as they gave the audience at Palo Alto High School a sparkling show."

I don't think there's any basis for this - that they were promoting any racial harmony, nor that it was the source of the good feelings in the music. Is anyone from the band quoted (I cop to not reading the liners yet, only all the reporting before the CD was issued)? Did they know about East Palo Alto and the issues there?

If the audience was mixed-race, certainly that would have been self evident to the band.

And regardless of the band’s (presumed) lack of specific knowledge of race issues in Palo Alto / East Palo Alto — Oct 1968 was barely a few months after the assassinations of MLK and RFK in April and June. There had to have been plenty of ‘racial strife’ in the air in 1968, anywhere in the US - especially for a black band touring the country.

Brubeck playing for a mostly white audience in 1968 wouldn’t have had any such added context. But an all black band playing in a white community / white high school (surely evident), but for a mixed race audience... would have entirely been something else.

I don’t think it’s a leap of logic to suggest that as a possible and even likely motivation for the band.

It’s a logical inference drawn by the reviewer, but not a stretch.

Edited by Rooster_Ties

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4 hours ago, Dan Gould said:

Thanks for sharing.

I think you should reconsider your racial commentary, particularly the final sentence:

"The fact the group was able to promote racial harmony in a community and country in turmoil was clearly inspiring to them as they gave the audience at Palo Alto High School a sparkling show."

I don't think there's any basis for this - that they were promoting any racial harmony, nor that it was the source of the good feelings in the music. Is anyone from the band quoted (I cop to not reading the liners yet, only all the reporting before the CD was issued)? Did they know about East Palo Alto and the issues there?

Personally my thought was, how often did they have a gig at a high school? Maybe they were inspired because they weren't in a formal concert hall or in a noisy bar, but in a school auditorium. Maybe that inspired them?

I personally perceive it to be two separate stories - a young high school kid pulling off the unexpected, and by promoting in both cities, getting a crowd curious enough to turn out and wait to see if Monk would show - and Monk's group putting on a fine concert. That's the cherry on top of this musical sundae.

 

 

 

It's all in the liners as Rooster said... I'll consider figuring out how to rework that, needless to say it was an inspired performance.

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9 minutes ago, CJ Shearn said:

It's all in the liners as Rooster said... I'll consider figuring out how to rework that, needless to say it was an inspired performance.

The fact of what was happening in the prior few months, as well as at the moment in Palo Alto/East Palo Alto is in the liners. I don't think that there's anything there about the band knowing about it or reacting to it.

For that matter, I always thought people onstage  with spotlights on them can't really see the audience, so knowledge of how mixed the crowd was would be limited to the first row or two? 

And one other thought is, what was Monk's audience at regular club gigs?  Wasn't it mixed already?  If it was, then seeing a mixed audience (if they could) from the stage wouldn't necessarily mean anything.

That's an aspect you don't read that much about ...  It is noticed now that white fans (especially outside of major cities) are the ones supporting the music. When did that really start? Obviously Monk was "old hat" at that point ... and rock/soul/whatever Miles was doing was what was popular among young people (minorities?).  Going off on a tangent here ...

 

CJ: Please write what you feel. I'm just giving you my reaction ...

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40 minutes ago, Dan Gould said:

For that matter, I always thought people onstage  with spotlights on them can't really see the audience, so knowledge of how mixed the crowd was would be limited to the first row or two?

There was an opening act. And unless they just drove in and went straight to stage to hi, they would have had opportunity to see the house.

Don't know how may one set non-festival gigs they got booked on, but just the venue and the timing of this gig could have made it stand out as being a little "different" in some form or fashion. And probably the promoter had a chance to meetgreetpay with the band. Or manager (was Columby there to collect the bread?). Very unlikely that a gig like this pays the band in full without there being tickets bought and in the door and in the seats, and also very unlikely that the promoter, in this case a high school kid, doesn't insist on paying the band directly and saying thank you and a few other words. And I'd die right where I sit if the didn't get paid until after the gig, or more to the point, that they went on without being paid.

No idea how that plays to the "racial awareness" of the band prior to or during the gig, but it's not like gigs get played in a vacuum, you don't get beamed down to the stage from the mothership or anything, you gotta get in there off of the street/road/elevator. Even on a club date, you gotta walk in the door, and often through the front door, because these musicians are so damn filthy, don't let them in the same room with the food, not only will they stink on it, they're liable eat it too.

My only hope is that if they did try to fee the band that it wasn't chicken spaghetti from the cafeteria.

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37 minutes ago, JSngry said:

There was an opening act. And unless they just drove in and went straight to stage to hi, they would have had opportunity to see the house.

Don't know how may one set non-festival gigs they got booked on, but just the venue and the timing of this gig could have made it stand out as being a little "different" in some form or fashion. And probably the promoter had a chance to meetgreetpay with the band. Or manager (was Columby there to collect the bread?). Very unlikely that a gig like this pays the band in full without there being tickets bought and in the door and in the seats, and also very unlikely that the promoter, in this case a high school kid, doesn't insist on paying the band directly and saying thank you and a few other words. And I'd die right where I sit if the didn't get paid until after the gig, or more to the point, that they went on without being paid.

 

You're worse than I am on not consulting the liners:

With that, Thelonious bid farewell, Danny paid his fee in cash, and his brother shuttled the band back to the Jazz Workshop with plenty of time to spare. A couple of days later, an incensed Jules Colomby called Danny asking for the money. “I told him I paid Monk. He asks, ‘What about my commission?’ I said, ‘Well Mr. Colomby, I never had a signed contract. So if you want your commission you should talk to Mr. Monk.’” Scher would grow up to become one of the most successful concert promoters on the West Coast.

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1 hour ago, Dan Gould said:

The fact of what was happening in the prior few months, as well as at the moment in Palo Alto/East Palo Alto is in the liners. I don't think that there's anything there about the band knowing about it or reacting to it.

For that matter, I always thought people onstage  with spotlights on them can't really see the audience, so knowledge of how mixed the crowd was would be limited to the first row or two? 

And one other thought is, what was Monk's audience at regular club gigs?  Wasn't it mixed already?  If it was, then seeing a mixed audience (if they could) from the stage wouldn't necessarily mean anything.

That's an aspect you don't read that much about ...  It is noticed now that white fans (especially outside of major cities) are the ones supporting the music. When did that really start? Obviously Monk was "old hat" at that point ... and rock/soul/whatever Miles was doing was what was popular among young people (minorities?).  Going off on a tangent here ...

 

CJ: Please write what you feel. I'm just giving you my reaction ...

I have no idea whether or not Monk's audience was mixed race at the time but wouldn't the Time magazine article have contributed to expanding his audience?

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15 minutes ago, Dan Gould said:

You're worse than I am on not consulting the liners:

With that, Thelonious bid farewell, Danny paid his fee in cash, and his brother shuttled the band back to the Jazz Workshop with plenty of time to spare. A couple of days later, an incensed Jules Colomby called Danny asking for the money. “I told him I paid Monk. He asks, ‘What about my commission?’ I said, ‘Well Mr. Colomby, I never had a signed contract. So if you want your commission you should talk to Mr. Monk.’” Scher would grow up to become one of the most successful concert promoters on the West Coast.

Paid in full and in cash. Perfect ending!

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I wonder if Colomby ever got his commission. It is possible that Monk paid him.

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Haven't heard the album myself, but FYI and FWIW, a reliable source states that the Palo Alto concert tapes were mastered nearly a half-step flat. 

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17 hours ago, Larry Kart said:

Haven't heard the album myself, but FYI and FWIW, a reliable source states that the Palo Alto concert tapes were mastered nearly a half-step flat. 

Oof.  :(

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19 hours ago, Larry Kart said:

Haven't heard the album myself, but FYI and FWIW, a reliable source states that the Palo Alto concert tapes were mastered nearly a half-step flat. 

Still sounds good to me (I do have a copy & have played it multiple times) but then what do I know.

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If true, I must be a half step sharp.

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It was apparently a problem with the original tape machine, so fixable, as opposed to an error during the transfer.

But someone from the record label would have needed to get a musician involved. Why this is not standard practice when dealing with non-professional archival recordings baffles me.

 

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And the involved musician shouldn't be a drummer (like TS Monk) (if true)

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1 minute ago, Niko said:

And the involved musician shouldn't be a drummer (like TS Monk) (if true)

TS Monk knows music. Many drummers do.

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What I thought... So is there a problem with the tape speed?

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Just checked, and my record is in the right key.

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My cd seems so as well, extra bass and all.

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I hope so; speed correction is very easy these days. There are some amazing programs.

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