It's Monk's Time [Bonus Tracks]

It's Monk's Time [Bonus Tracks]

by Thelonious MonkThelonious Monk

CD(Remastered / Bonus Tracks)

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Although often unrightfully maligned by self-proclaimed "purists," Thelonious Monk did some brilliant work during his early- to mid-'60s stint for Columbia Records. It's Monk's Time (1964) contains some of the best -- if not arguably the best -- studio sides that the pianist cut during his final years as a recording musician. The album's title turned out to be somewhat prophetic, as Time magazine featured Monk as the cover subject for its February 28, 1964, edition. Interestingly, he was to have been profiled by the periodical the previous November; however, the assassination of then-President John F. Kennedy took obvious precedence. It had been almost a full year since his previous studio release, Criss-Cross (1963), and there had been a significant alteration in the rhythm section, which now incorporated the respective talents of both Butch Warren (bass) and Ben Riley (drums) as well as longtime cohort Charlie Rouse (tenor sax). From four sessions in early 1964, It's Monk's Time gathers four quartet and two solo sides, presenting the pinnacle of what these musicians offered stylistically as well as from the standpoint of presentation. There is sense of mischievous playfulness in Monk's nimble keyboard work, especially notable on the beautifully off-kilter unaccompanied opening to "Lulu's Back in Town," and the same practically impish quality also drives the solo performance on "Nice Work if You Can Get It." Both pop standards are prime examples of the bop pioneer's inimitable approach to arranging, and also provide an uncanny insight to his influences. Immediately evident are the styles of stride legends from the well-known Willie "The Lion" Smith and James P. Johnson to the slightly more obscure and decidedly frenetic playing of Cliff Jackson, as well as the ragtime approach of Walter L. Rose. The results are bound together in Monk's arithmetically advanced delivery and harmonic composition. The combo -- especially Rouse -- effectively supports and punctuates the tricky timing of "Stuffy Turkey" and the more aggressive bop of "Brake's Sake." The latter title also unleashes some tasty interaction between Monk and Rouse, sonically exemplifying their practically single-minded synergy. The concluding cut, "Shuffle Boil," is one of the lost gems of the artist's later work. It sports an effortless swing over a sophisticated and challenging melodic structure. Bassist Warren steps up to the plate, providing a supple and pulsating bed for both Monk and Rouse as they trade solos. [In 2003, Legacy issued an expanded edition of It's Monk's Time with a trio of bonus tracks, two of which were previously unavailable.]

Product Details

Release Date: 08/19/2003
Label: Sony
UPC: 0074646353226
catalogNumber: 63532
Rank: 39046

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Thelonious Monk   Primary Artist,Piano
Charlie Rouse   Tenor Saxophone
Butch Warren   Bass
Ben Riley   Drums

Technical Credits

George Gershwin   Composer
Eubie Blake   Composer
Dick Katz   Liner Notes
Andy Razaf   Composer
Kenny Clarke   Composer
Dubin   Composer
Ira Gershwin   Composer
Orrin Keepnews   Liner Notes,Reissue Producer
Teo Macero   Producer
Thelonious Monk   Composer
Harry Warren   Composer
Norman O'Connor   Liner Notes
Randall Martin   Reissue Design
Fong Y. Lee   Packaging Manager
Jim Marshall   Cover Photo

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