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The Strange Monk

One of the advantages of coming to jazz at a late period of time like I did, I missed some of the controversies that player who were out of the box went through. Today, Charlie Parker is a Jazz God.  In his day, people were asking if Be Bop was even jazz Music.  Cab Calloway derisively called it Chinese music. One of the great Jazz figure who has emerged to immortality but was ignored and even dismissed in his early years was Thelonious Monk.  I'm not a musician.but even I can tell there is something different about the way Monk plays the piano.  The way he plays and shapes his chords was new and controversial when he came out.  Some people wondered if he could play at all.  The fact that Monk was not the most effusive of talker, at least to the media, and did not explain himself to the public made it easy for his detractors to define him.  But Monk stuck to his guns and followed the vision of the sounds in his head.  Later, the world  caught up to him.  As a composer, he has a chapter all to himself in the cannons of jazz standards.

Ironically, a great composer, he had his greatest success after he joined Columbia records were he mostly released albums made up on his older works.

holloway64 holloway64 46-50, M 1 Response Jan 16, 2013

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You are correct in that Monk was way ahead of his time. Luckily, many other artist gave Monk the attention that he deserved. As example, "Green Chimneys" by Wynton Marsalis "Ruby My Dear" by McCoy Tyner and "'Round Midnight #3" by Joel Frahm