THELONIOUS MONK — Thelonious Monk / Sonny Rollins (aka Work aka The Genius Of Thelonious Monk) (review)

THELONIOUS MONK — Thelonious Monk / Sonny Rollins (aka Work aka The Genius Of Thelonious Monk) album cover Split · 1956 · Bop Buy this album from MMA partners
4.5/5 ·
js
“Thelonious Monk/Sonny Rollins” is one of those thrown together affairs pulled from three different sessions, in fact Rollins does not even appear on every track. Such records are often unsatisfactory, but this one is different as it presents a very coherent musical vision. Some ‘experts’ call this an EP, while others call it an LP. The truth is, with about 18 minutes on the first side and 16 on the back, it falls sort of in between, but possibly closer to an LP. The first recording session for this record took place in November 1953 and featured the Thelonious Monk Quintet, of which Rollins was a member. The second session was in September ‘54 and featured Monk’s trio sans Rollins of course. The last session was in October ‘54 and featured the Rollins’ quartet, of which Monk was the pianist. The track order on this record mixes these sessions up in a way that makes total sense and adds to the feeling of a congruous record.

The playing on here is brilliant, Monk’s career was nearing a peak and he sounds relaxed and happy, far different from the inconsistent performances that came much later in his career. Rollins is also in fine form, supplying endless melodic variations over Monk’s more blunt and percussive accompaniment. The Monk trio cuts feature Art Blakey on drums, whose short solos are inventive displays of metric trickery and phrase manipulation that is a perfect compliment to Monk’s approach to music. The choice of tunes on here is also good. Side one opens with Rollins joyfully flying over two well known upbeat standards, and closes with the Monk trio playing a lesser known Monk original, “Work”, that is quite abstract compared to the two openers. Side two opens with Monk’s trio playing “Nutty”, a piece that appears on many Monk recordings, and closes with his quintet playing another odd Monk favorite, “Friday the 13th”, on which Rollins shows he can easily handle Monk’s peculiar musical creations. This may not be the top record that Monk put out, but it holds up well against many of his best.
Share this review

Review Comments

Post a public comment below | Send private message to the reviewer
Please login to post a shout
No shouts posted yet. Be the first member to do so above!

JMA TOP 5 Jazz ALBUMS

Rating by members, ranked by custom algorithm
Albums with 30 ratings and more
A Love Supreme Post Bop
JOHN COLTRANE
Buy this album from our partners
Kind of Blue Cool Jazz
MILES DAVIS
Buy this album from our partners
The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady Progressive Big Band
CHARLES MINGUS
Buy this album from our partners
My Favorite Things Hard Bop
JOHN COLTRANE
Buy this album from our partners

New Jazz Artists

New Jazz Releases

James Hunter Six : Whatever It Takes Jazz Related RnB
JAMES HUNTER
Buy this album from MMA partners
Dapper Eclectic Fusion
SOIL AND "PIMP" SESSIONS
Buy this album from MMA partners
Casiopea 3rd : Akari Fusion
CASIOPEA
Buy this album from MMA partners
Summer Horns II: From A To Z Jazz Related Pop/Art Song/Folk
DAVE KOZ
Buy this album from MMA partners
Qantar World Fusion
OMER AVITAL
Buy this album from MMA partners
More new releases

New Jazz Online Videos

Till I Dance (In Your Arms Again)
ALAIN MALLET
js· 33 minutes ago
Solo Esta Soledad
ARTURO SANDOVAL
js· 1 day ago
Cotton Tail
BEN WEBSTER
js· 1 day ago
More videos

New JMA Jazz Forum Topics

More in the forums

New Site interactions

More...

Latest Jazz News

members-submitted

More in the forums

Social Media

Follow us