Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Born Yesterday

Well, not literally born yesterday in 2006, but definitely on October 10 (reputedly 1917), was the great Thelonious Monk. While Monk's original compositions represented bold, brilliant new ideas, his sound had deep roots in jazz tradition (small wonder, one of his mentors was the innovative Harlem pianist/composer James P. Johnson). His rhythms can be jagged and broken - and swing hard all the while. Monk also wrote lovely ballads and often found expressive power in standard tunes. . . beauty in the most arcane of moldy chestnuts. Here's an example of Monk doing just that, performing "Don't Blame Me" in a 1967 concert. Enjoy.

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