Monk (LP)Thelonius Monk
Renowned and revered for his improvisational abilities, his contributions to the lexicon of jazz standards, and his many innovations in composition, it's no wonder that Thelonius Monk's catalog is one of the most recorded of all time. (Topped only by Duke Ellington.) An eccentric and quirky pianist, Monk's recordings were marked by strategic dissonance, abrupt key changes, and the usage of silence as an instrument, a style which was not fully understood in its time, (One jazz critic referred to Monk as "the elephant at the keyboard") but would prove highly influential to the likes of Wynton Marsalis, Mulatu Astatke, Chick Corea, and even his contemporaries like Miles Davis and Charles Mingus.
In 1964, Monk released his seventh album with Columbia Records, simply titled Monk, featuring a lineup of famed jazz session greats, including Larry Gales on bass, Ben Riley on drums, and Charlie Rouse on tenor saxophone. Monk only featured seven tracks, only two of which were original compositions, but Monk's style can be heard all across the 46-minute collection. With cool jazz and hard bop spins on showtune obscurities like "April In Paris" and "Just You, Just Me", jazz standards like "(Just One Way To Say) I Love You" as well as Monk's own works like "Pannonica" and "Teo", a tribute to Columbia's legendary jazz producer, Teo Macero.