THELONIOUS MONK — Misterioso

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THELONIOUS MONK - Misterioso cover
4.88 | 5 ratings | 2 reviews
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Live album · 1958

Filed under Bop
By THELONIOUS MONK

Tracklist

A1 Nutty
A2 Blues Five Spot
A3 Let's Cool One
B1 In Walked Bud
B2 Just a Gigolo
B3 Mysterioso

Line-up/Musicians

Bass – Ahmed Abdul-Malik
Drums – Roy Haynes
Piano – Thelonious Monk
Tenor Saxophone – Johnny Griffin

About this release

Riverside Records ‎– RLP 12-279 (US)

Recorded at the Five Spot Cafe, New York City; August 1958

Thanks to snobb for the addition

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THELONIOUS MONK MISTERIOSO reviews

Specialists/collaborators reviews

js
Although Thelonious Monk’s contributions to jazz are highly regarded, it doesn’t mean that everything he recorded was gold. Especially towards the end of his career, Monk’s performances could be inconsistent or uninspired. Also, with shifting band personal, Monk sometimes had to work with musicians who did not exactly click with his difficult music. This leads to the question, which of his albums show Monk and his band at their best? Amongst possible candidates for this honor, the live set “Misterioso” rates very high. Not only is Monk on fire here, but he has an excellent band too, with the always imaginative Roy Haynes on drums, rock solid Ahmed Abdul Malik on bass and the high flying Johnny Griffin on tenor sax. In fact, Griffin’s soaring performance almost steals the show. There are only two Monk albums that feature Griffin, the other one is “Monk in Action”, which is the other half of the live set that makes up this disc.

“Misterioso” was recorded in Augaust 1958 at NYC’s Five Spot at a time when Monk’s career had just peaked, and the new avant-garde, which would make Monk no longer appear to be such an iconoclast, was just starting to appear. Surely Johnny Griffith’s astonishing rapid flow of notes is an under-rated predecessor to the new free jazz stylists. Griffith’s ‘sheets of sound’ tend to stay tonal, but the sheer intensity of his playing was a ‘new thing’. Some early critics felt Griffith’s excessive approach was at odds with Monk’s well-timed minimalist approach, but the two musicians actually compliment each other well, and both sound very happy to interact with each other’s direction and vision. Roy Haynes also contributes to the rhythmic interplay, and adds some excellent drum solos that demonstrate how a creative drummer can convey, and re-construct, the melody of a tune.

For Monk collectors, “Misterioso” is a must have, and for those wishing to check out his music, this is a great place to start. The almost kitsch beat-era album cover is a plus too.
darkprinceofjazz
This Thelonious Monk Live album is one of the great live albums in Modern Jazz history, and Saxophonist Johnny Griffin blows the roof of the 5 Spot, all of these recording from the 5 Spot with Griffin are in my opinion, Griffins crowning achievement. Also another thing I particularly like about these 5 Spot recordings is, The crowd ambiance, phones ringing glasses clinking together, conversations. you really are brought into the 5 spot, I can almost envision myself sitting there, Though I would have been there for the music, not necessarily just for a night on the town. The music is so alive with authenticity. just incredible the sound of this recording.

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