Label: Blue Note - 31C 152 82836/7 • Series: Blue Note Jazz Classics Twins - Vol. 6 • Format: 2x, Vinyl LP, Compilation • Country: Brazil • Genre: Jazz • Style: Bop
Volume 1 of the two-volume Genius of Modern Music set comprises the first sessions Thelonious Monk recorded as a leader, on October 15 and 24 and November 21 of It's impossible to overstate the importance of these sessions.
They include some of the earliest recordings of Monk compositions that would become standards, despite their angularity and technical difficulty: the strange, sideways chord progression of "Thelonious"; the bouncy and cheerful but melodically cockeyed "Well, You Needn't"; the post-bop Bud Powell tribute "In Walked Bud"; and, of Just You,Just Me - Lester Young - These Foolish Things, "'Round Midnight," which is now one of the most frequently recorded jazz compositions ever.
There are kinks to be worked out: Art Blakey's drumming is fine, but he obviously hasn't quite taken the measure of Monk's compositional genius, and on the November session, alto saxophonist Sahib Shihab employs a fat, warbly tone that sounds out of place. But the excitement of discovery permeates every measure, and Monk himself is in top form, his solos jagged and strange, yet utterly beautiful.
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