Thursday, November 19, 2009
Thelonious Monk Live at the It Club 1964
A lost Thelonious Monk treasure from the 60s -- a really open-ended live set recorded in LA in 1964, but not issued by Columbia until the early 80s -- making the package a wonderful re-discover of Monk's genius during these years! The tunes are much more freewheeling than some of the studio work cut by Monk's quartet at the time -- stretched out takes on Monkish favorites, played by Thelonious on piano, Charlie Rouse on tenor, Larry Gales on bass, and Ben Riley on drums -- all with plenty of room for extended solos. This wonderful 2CD package brings together the complete recordings from the show -- offering up many tracks in their full recorded versions, and adding in a few unreleased tracks too -- titles that include "Bemsha Swing", "Blue Monk", "Well You Needn't", "Misterioso", "Gallops Gallop", "Teo", "I'm Getting Sentimental Over You", "All The Things You Are", "Blues Five Spot", "Evidence", "Bright Mississippi", and "Nutty". Dusty Groove America
Recorded over two evenings in Los Angeles in 1964 and arranged in order, this recording presents the great Thelonious Monk at the peak of his considerable talents--and with his most enduring sidemen, including saxophonist Charlie Rouse and drummer Ben Riley. This version also restores 11 (!) cuts to their entirety (previous versions edited or offered shortened bass and drum solos). Aside from the now-complete versions of the set's songs, this It Club also offers three previously unreleased songs ("Teo," "Bright Mississippi," and "Just You, Just Me") and 20-bit digital remastering. The result is perhaps as close as we can come to a great-sounding complete show by one of the most fertile minds in the history of jazz. While not one of Monk's wilder live sessions, this set nonetheless effortlessly communicates the pianist's offbeat genius. From the first note, the sound (which thanks to the remaster, begs for high volume) is classic Monk: inquisitive right-hand chord exploration, thundering left-hand exclamations, and intoxicating runs up and down the keyboard fly from his fingers while the band gives him enough room so that every thought, strategy, and wild hare is allowed to range free. Highlights include an exquisitely gorgeous "I'm getting Sentimental over You", a spicy "Rhythm-A-Ning," and an uptempo "Bright Mississippi." With excellent liner notes by Bob Blumenthal and some new photos, this package rates as a must-buy for all Monkophiles. amazon.com
...Very little of his recorded legacy has more of the feeling of spontaneity and joy at music-making than this set, recorded in 1964.... Never before released in its entirety, the set contains 27 minutes of previously unreleased titles plus original tracks restored to their full length for the first time. BBC magazine
Disc 1: Blue Monk; Well, You Needn’t; ‘Round Midnight; Rhythm-a-Ning; Blues Five Spot; Beshma Swing; Evidence; Nutty; Epistrophy (Theme).
Disc 2: Straight, No Chaser; Teo; I’m Getting Sentimental Over You; Misterioso; Gallop’s Gallop; Ba-Lue Bolivar Ba-Lues-are; Bright Mississippi; Just You, Just Me; All The Things You Are; Epistrophy
Thelonious Monk (piano)
Charlie Rouse (tenor sax)
Larry Gales (bass)
Ben Riley (drums)
Recorded live at the “It” Club, Los Angeles CA, on October 31st and November 1st 1964.