This attractive box houses three previously released Black Lion CDs recorded at pianist/composer Thelonious Monk's final sessions as a leader; only a few dates with the Giants of Jazz were left in the future for Monk, who would soon retire altogether. Heard in unaccompanied piano solos and in a trio with bassist Al McKibbon and drummer Art Blakey, Monk is in surprisingly exuberant form, still very much at the peak of his powers. Although most of this music was last available in a "complete" Mosaic LP box set, there are actually three additional alternate takes included in the very enjoyable and somewhat definitive set. Highlights include "Little Rootie Tootie," "Meet Me Tonight in Dreamland," "Blue Sphere," "Criss Cross," "The Man I Love" and "Evidence," but all 29 selections are well worth hearing. This is essential music for all serious Thelonious Monk collections; the solo performances in particular are quite memorable.
This five disc collection contains some of the most important recordings of Monk’s career; from his very earliest Bluenote sessions to the startling compositions that have become all-time classics. Featuring nine original and now legendary albums in total, the music showcased within perfectly displays the rapid progress of Thelonious Monk’s natural talents as a writer, performer and bandleader, leaving no doubt as to how he came to achieve the revered status he still maintains to this day.
Following a stream of magnificent and hugely influential albums in the early to mid-1950s, the latter part of the decade and the lead up towards his signing for Columbia Records proved a major transitional period for jazz composer and pianist Thelonious Monk.
The recordings gathered in this package have been issued in a multitude of ways and are available in a number of configurations. The audiophile jazz label Mosaic Records issued The Complete Vogue Recordings/The Black Lion Sessions on vinyl initially, later releasing the title as a slightly expanded three-CD package. Chronologically, the earlier of the two sets consists of the Vogue recordings from June 7, 1954. The Black Lion sides are divided between a second batch of solo works as well as a trio session – featuring Al McKibbon (bass) and Art Blakey (drums) – both of which were cut on November 11, 1971.
The studio and live recording sessions that Thelonious Monk cut during his six-year stay at the Riverside label are compiled over the 15 discs in the Complete Riverside Recordings. This middle era – between his early sides for Prestige and the final ones for Columbia – is generally considered Monk's most ingenious and creative period. The sessions are presented in chronological order, accurately charting the progression and diversions of one of the most genuinely enigmatic figures in popular music. The Complete Riverside Recordings explores Monk's genius with a certain degree of real-time analysis that simply listening to each of the individual albums from this era lacks.
This magnificent limited-edition set launched the Mosaic label in real style. Included are all of Thelonious Monk's Blue Note recordings, six sessions as a leader from 1947-52 complete with alternate takes plus two titles cut with tenor-saxophonist Sonny Rollins in 1957. Since these were Monk's first opportunities to lead his own recording dates, this set includes the original versions of such classics as "Ruby, My Dear," "Well You Needn't," "Off Minor," "In Walked Bud," "Evidence," "Criss Cross" and "Straight No Chaser" along with Monk's first chance to record "'Round Midnight" and "Epistrophy." The sidemen include such notables as trumpeters Kenny Dorham and Idrees Sulieman, drummers Art Blakey and Max Roach, vibraphonist Milt Jackson, altoist Lou Donaldson and tenor-saxophonist Lucky Thompson, but it is the unique pianist/composer who is the main star.
Despite various reissue formats over several decades, the seven original LPs contained in Thelonious Monk - The Riverside Tenor Sessions stood perfectly well on their own at the time of initial release and remain among the highest achievements of a truly golden age. Recorded and released between 1956 and 1961, these seven Monk combo albums were critical in Monk's emergence from a decade of ridicule and neglect to his status at the pinnacle of the jazz pantheon. In addition to some of his best recorded piano performances and more than two dozen of his profoundly personal compositions, these albums provide an overview of the era's major tenor saxophonists, with contributions by Sonny Rollins, Coleman Hawkins, John Coltrane, Johnny Griffin, Charlie Rouse and Harold Land…