Thelonious Monk “cool” was always a part of the image of the jazz musician. With the kind of jazz that permeated the ’40s, and especially the ’50s, the music that Thelonious Monk created fit is so well that he quickly rose among the rank and file of fellow jazzmen as its leader. Thelonious Monk recorded many albums during his life, with several labels including Columbia Records, Prestige, and Riverside Records. But it was his short-lived Blue Note music that gave him his start and set the basis for his innovative jazz styles as well as his interesting way of presenting it.
I’ve enjoyed enough of Jazz during my relatively short period of existence, especially that of the music of the adopted bohemian “cool”. There’s something quite magical about the free-style of soul-reaching music that Thelonious Monk helped to establish during his remarkable tenure on this earth. With every album – and I don’t profess to know them all – he set a new standard that fed into the streams of the influenced musicians that came afterwards. And many followed his unique style.
On October 28, Blue Note Records will assemble a 2CD collection of his Blue Note singles and gather them what will be known as ‘Round Midnight: The Blue Note Singles 1947-1952, which encapsulates his short time frame with the label. His time with the label were session works that music was pulled from and released, many of them on 10″ 78 RPM platters. During that period, Thelonious Monk spent incredible time with other jazzmen of the day, which included Art Blakey.
The piano work of Thelonius Monk is nothing less than the important music of our past. And while Blue Note (and many other labels) have celebrated the music of Mr Monk in a multitude of offerings, it’s always nice to keep the works of Thelonious Monk in a proper light. This set helps to do that.
Few could express their soul in their music. Thelonious Monk was one who could.