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Thelonious Monk Monk'S Dream'
Monk's DreamMonk's Dream is the Columbia Records debut release featuring the Thelonious Monk Quartet: Monk (piano), Charlie Rouse (tenor sax), John Ore (bass), and Frankie Dunlop (drums). Jazz scholars and enthusiasts alike also heralded this combo as the best Monk had been involved with for several years. Although he would perform and record supported by various other musicians, the tight -- almost telepathic -- dimensions that these four shared has rarely been equalled in any genre... Monk's Dream is recommended, with something for every degree of Monk enthusiast.
- Lindsay Planer, Allmusic.com1. Monk's Dream
2. Body And Soul
3. Bright Mississippi
4. Five Spot Blues
5. Bolivar Blues
6. Just A Gigolo
8. Sweet And Lovely
9. Monk's Dream (Original Version)*
*Bonus Track$27.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
It's Monk's Time (Speakers Corner)With its three compositions by Thelonious Monk, one might call this LP from 1964 "3 Standards and 3 Monks". The 'High Priest' of bebop had reached a further pinnacle in his career and performed with his fantastic, skilful and well-rehearsed quartet at numerous festivals and concerts. As if in a dream, the musicians penetrate the apparently simple yet rhythmically complicated themes, interrupted again and again by Monk's solo escapades on the piano. On the stage, Monk often stood up and jigged around the piano like a lumbering dancing bear, with one of his distinctive hats on his head; he plonks down on the piano stool after the Charlie Rouse solo; his enormous feet tap back and forth to the beat; he constantly fiddles with the ring on his finger; and he creates the most wonderful improvisations ever heard with his 'false' fingering.
Calling all jazz fans: Listen to Thelonious Monk, and you will have a ball - most especially if you put this super disc with the promising title "It's Monks Time" on your turntable!
- Thelonious Monk (piano)
- Charlie Rouse (tenor saxophone)
- Butch Warren (bass)
- Ben Riley (drums)
- Teo Macero (producer)
Recording: January - March 1964
Production: Teo Macero
About Speakers Corner
At the beginning of the 90s, in the early days of audiophile vinyl re-releases, the situation was fairly straightforward. Companies such as DCC, Mobile Fidelity, Classic Records and, of course, Speakers Corner all maintained a mutual, unwritten ethical code: we would only use analogue tapes to manufacture records.
During the course of the present vinyl hype, many others have jumped on the bandwagon in the hope of securing a corner of the market. Very often they are not so ethical and use every imaginable source to master from: CDs, LPs, digital files, MP3s - or employed existant tools from the 80s and 90s for manufacturing.
A digital delay is gladly used when cutting a lacquer disc because tape machines with an analogue delay have become quite rare and are therefore expensive. When cutting the lacquer, the audio signal is delayed by one LP revolution against the signal, which controls the cutter head, and for this a digital delay is very often employed. Of course, the resultant sound signal is completely digital and thus only as good as this delay.
We should like to emphasise that Speakers Corner Records on principle only uses the original master tape as the basis for the entirely analogue cutting of lacquer discs. In addition, the pressing tool is newly manufactured as a matter of principle. We have one digital recording in our catalogue (Alan Parsons / Eye In The Sky"), but even in this particular case we used the analogue tapes for cutting.
We only employ existing tools for manufacturing if an improved result is not forthcoming, e.g. the title Elvis Is Back, which was mastered by Steve Hoffman and Kevin Gray, or several titles from our Philips Classics series, which in any case Willem Makkee cut from the original masters at the Emil Berliner Studios in the 90s. It goes without saying that we only used the mother and that new tools were made for our production.
To put it in a nutshell: we can ensure you that our releases are free from any kind of digital effects - excluding the exception above - and that the lacquer discs are newly cut.1. Lulu's Back In Town
2. Memories Of You
3. Stuffy Turkey
4. Brake's Sake
5. Nice Work If You Can Get It
6. Shuffle Soil$34.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Monk's DreamMonk's Dream is the first album jazz musician Thelonious Monk released on Columbia Records. It was recorded in 4 days in autumn 1962 and issued a year later. The Thelonious Monk Quartet consisted of Monk (piano), Charlie Rouse (tenor sax), John Ore (bass), and Frankie Dunlop (drums). Jazz scholars and enthusiasts alike also heralded this combo as the best Monk had been involved with for several years. Although he would perform and record supported by various other musicians, the tight dimensions that these four shared has rarely been equaled in any genre.
On tracks such as Five Spot Blues and Bolivar Blues, Rouse and Dunlop demonstrate their uncanny abilities by squeezing in well-placed instrumental fills, while never getting hit by the unpredictable rhythmic frisbees being tossed about by Monk. Augmenting the six quartet recordings are two solo sides: Just a Gigolo and Body and Soul. Most notable about Monk's solo work is how much he retained the same extreme level of intuition throughout the nearly two decades that separate these recordings from his initial renderings in the late '40s.1. Monk 's Dream
2. Body And Soul
3. Sweet Georgia Brown
4. Five Spot Blues
5. Bolivar Blues
6. Just A Gigolo
8. Sweet And Lovely$29.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Paris 1969Blue Note Records has announced Thelonious Monk Paris 1969, a fascinating and important late-career document of the legendary jazz pianist and composer in performance with his Quartet at the Salle Pleyel concert hall in Paris, France on December 15, 1969. Beautifully captured on B&W film, the concert also featured a surprise guest appearance from renowned drummer Philly Joe Jones. Also included is a rare on-camera interview with Monk that was conducted by the French bassist Jacques Hess after the concert.
"The 1969 Paris concert captures the power and the undiminished beauty of Monk's music, reminding us that even as his body aged his musical imagination knew no limits," writes Monk scholar Robin Kelley in his liner notes essay. However, Kelley also illuminates what a peculiar and challenging moment 1969 was for the 52-year-old pianist. Monk hadn't achieved true success until the late-50s with his legendary run at the Five Spot CafÉ in New York City with John Coltrane (a band that was brilliantly captured on the lost recording Thelonious Monk Quartet with John Coltrane at Carnegie Hall from 1957 which was discovered and released on Blue Note in 2005). By the early-60s Monk's success had peaked when he signed with Columbia Records and was eventually featured on the cover of TIME Magazine in 1964.
However, by 1969, in addition to health issues, Monk's success was beginning to wane with the emergence of rock and the resulting jazz fusion movement. His recording contract with Columbia had just come to end after an ill-advised attempt at marketing him to a younger rock audience. That disappointment was followed by the departure of drummer Ben Riley and bassist Larry Gales from his band which left Monk with two chairs to fill on short notice before his European tour.
Monk eventually found two young musicians - bassist Nate Hygelund and drummer Paris Wright - to fill out the Quartet with his longtime tenor saxophonist Charlie Rouse. Luckily the inexperienced rhythm section had some time to gel before hitting the stage in Paris with a lengthy engagement in London followed by stops in Germany and Italy. By the time they reached the Pleyel the band was in fine form, which made for a triumphant return for Monk to the very stage he had made his Parisian debut on in 1954 in front of a hostile audience who felt that Monk was too avant-garde. 15 years later the situation could not have been more different with an enthusiastic audience and the concert being broadcast on television.
In addition to rollicking Quartet versions of Monk classics such as "I Mean You," "Straight No Chaser," and "Blue Monk," the set also includes three stunning solo piano performances on "Don't Blame Me," "I Love You Sweetheart Of All My Dreams," and "Crepuscule With Nellie." However, an undeniable highlight of the concert was when the veteran drummer Philly Joe Jones who was an expat living in Paris at the time comes from backstage to borrow the sticks from the 17-year-old Wright, providing a palpable spark on Monk's "Nutty."1. I Mean You
2. Ruby My Dear
3. Straight No Chaser
4. Bright Mississippi
5. Light Blue
7. Don't Blame Me
8. I Love You Sweetheart of All My Dreams
9. Crepuscule With Nellie
10. Bright Mississippi
12. Blue Monk$19.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Straight, No ChaserLimited To 3,000 Individually Numbered Copies
First Time On All-Analog
Features The Complete, Unedited Performances Of Thelonious Monk's Classic Sessions
Mastered From The Original Tapes By Kevin Gray And Robert Pincus At Cohearant Audio
Pressed At RTI For Superior Playback Quality
Monk's introspective 6th LP for Columbia contains some of the pianist's most mature works, including a striking re-working of the classic title track, an evocative modal twist on Japanese folk music, and the swinging bop of We See, all lensed through the transformative interplay of his quartet (also featured on Monk's Dream). Impex's deluxe all-analog 2-LP set includes the original six tracks (three of which are presented in their original uncut length on LP for the first time) and the bonus track Green Chimneys. These extensions, beautifully remastered by Kevin Gray and Robert Pincus at Cohearent Audio, give fuller, richer expression to Thelonious Monk's genius as a performer of unparalleled spiritual and technical facility.1. Locomotive
2. I Didn't Know About You
3. Straight, No Chaser
4. Japanese Folk Song
5. Between The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea
6. We See
7. Green Chimneys*
*Bonus Track$54.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Volume 2A Blue Note essential, Sonny Rollins' Volume 2 is part of the Blue Note 75 anniversary vinyl reissue campaign -
featuring 100 titles. Key to the initiative is high quality audio at affordable prices. Album features performances
recorded in 1960.
Outside of Paul Chambers, who was employed as Miles Davis's bassist at this time, all of the other players on these April 1957 RVG Hackensack dates were leaders of their own renowned groups; a reflection of the respect they all shared for the date leader, Sonny Rollins. Besides Chambers, with J.J. Johnson on trombone, Art Blakey behind the drums and alternating pianists Thelonious Monk and Horace Silver, who both play on the now-famous version of Misterioso, the words All-Star seem almost demeaning to this conclave.
The resulting recordings burst forth with confidence and enthusiasm, capturing a fire and passion usually found only with uninhibited live dates and not the constraints of a recording studio. Exceptional versions of Poor Butterfly and You Stepped Out Of a Dream elevate this record to monumental status.1. Why Don't I?
2. Wail March
5. You Stepped Out Of A Dream
6. Poor Butterfly$19.99Vinyl LP Reissue - Sealed Buy Now
Open Book (Pre-Order)Fred Hersch has long been acclaimed as an exploratory artist, an outspoken activist, an influential educator and a uniquely revelatory and lyrical pianist. As one of the most expressive voices in modern jazz, Hersch has never been shy about letting listeners glimpse his most intimate thoughts and emotions. In September, however, Hersch's fans will be treated to even deeper, more revealing insights into the story of the renowned pianist when he publishes his much-anticipated memoir, Good Things Happen Slowly: A Life In and Out of Jazz. As a companion piece, Hersch decided to present an equally direct and vulnerable glimpse into his private musical thoughts with his 11th solo release, Open Book.
The seven pieces on Open Book (set for release via Palmetto Records) offer some of the finest, most unguardedly emotional solo music that Hersch has created in a career unique for its profound poignancy and passion. Recorded in a South Korean concert hall on a superb Hamburg Steinway concert grand piano, the album captures the vital essence of the revelatory adventurousness and intense beauty that have made Hersch one of the most important solo artists in jazz. With more than 40 albums to his credit as a leader or co-leader, Hersch remarkably continues to discover new areas of inspiration and depths of feeling.
For the last two and a half decades I've been pretty open about who I am, what I like and what I'm dealing with at times, Hersch says. But I've always got to dig deeper, and I thought this might be a chance to make an album that's a window into the kinds of things that I play at home or don't play in public all that much.
The album arrives during a momentous month for Hersch. On September 12, the esteemed publishers Crown Archetype (Penguin Random House) will release Good Things Happen Slowly, Hersch's bravely confessional memoir. The book covers the pianist's meteoric rise in jazz from his sideman days alongside masters like Art Farmer and Joe Henderson to his gradual recognition as one of the most individualistic and innovative artists of his generation, a ten-time Grammy Award nominee and winner of countless accolades including being named a 2016 Doris Duke Artist as well as the same year's Jazz Journalists Association Pianist of the Year. But it also frankly reveals his story as the first openly gay, HIV-positive jazz musician, tracing his path through hedonistic post-Stonewall New York City to the dramatic two-month medically induced coma in 2007 from which he emerged to make some of the most stunning and captivating music of his career.
Later that month Hersch will reprise his ambitious Leaves of Grass full-evening piece at Jazz at Lincoln Center's Appel Room, the first time the song cycle has been performed in New York City since 2005. Vocalists Kurt Elling and Kate McGarry will reprise their roles from the original project, which sets the verse of American bard Walt Whitman. The legendary poet's timeless ode to the miracle of nature and openhearted love of all beings seems especially vital in our present socio-political moment.
The centerpiece of Open Book, and the spark that ignited the album, is the nearly 20-minute improvisation Through the Forest. Unique in Hersch's extensive discography, the stream-of-consciousness gem is a miniature masterpiece of narrative development, a compelling journey through an abstract, glimmering landscape, revealing that in his early 60s Hersch continues to take creative risks and daunting inventive leaps.
The creation of Through the Forest was as unplanned and spontaneous as the music itself. In Seoul for a pair of solo concerts during a break in a tour of Asia with his esteemed trio, Hersch overslept during an after-breakfast nap and rushed to take the stage at JCC Art Center Concert Hall for his afternoon performance. The titular forest is, in part, a jetlag and coffee-fueled dreamscape through which Hersch wanders, applying his vivid powers of observation to unusual terrain. I was a little groggy, my defenses were down, and rather than fight it I just gave in to it, Hersch recalls. I'd never really done anything of that length in public where I had no agenda and was able to stay in that zone for such an extended period of time. I realized it was something special, something different that might be the core of an album.
Through the Forest became the leaping-off point for an album intended to be singularly divulgent and reflective. A few months later, Hersch returned to the same hall and recorded the remainder of Open Book alone in the empty venue (with the exception of Benny Golson's classic Whisper Not, taken from a concert during that return engagement).
The album opens with the stark musings of The Orb, taken from Hersch's autobiographical music-theater piece My Coma Dreams. A love letter to Hersch's longtime partner, AIDS activist Scott Morgan, The Orb is the final dream depicted in the show, and in this solo rendition becomes a nakedly heartfelt outpouring of raw but tender emotion. The mood then takes a turn for the playful and swinging on Whisper Not, a longtime staple of Hersch's repertoire that here becomes a vibrant, virtuoso marathon of thematic exploration.
The piece also serves as an ideal mirror to the album's other composition from the pen of a jazz icon, Thelonious Monk's Eronel. Hersch has long been recognized as one of the premier interpreters of the Monk songbook, but despite including one of the iconic composer's pieces in every one of his sets for most of his career, Hersch had never tackled this particular tune, co-written by pianist Sadik Hakim. Monk's original stride-inflected lines come in for a dizzying array of variations in Hersch's endlessly imaginative take.
The music of Brazil has also been a constant in Hersch's career, in particular the music of Antonio Carlos Jobim, the subject of one of the pianist's earlier solo efforts, 2009's Fred Hersch Plays Jobim. Picture in Black and White is a new addition to that repertoire, majestically transformed from a bossa nova feel to a crystalline hybrid with Chopin's last nocturne. On the other side of Through the Forest in the album's symmetrical structure comes Hersch's own classical-flavored Plainsong, a spare, lyrical piece composed in the bucolic setting of the MacDowell Colony, the inspirational artists' retreat in rural New Hampshire.
Open Book ends on a meaningful ellipsis, Billy Joel's moving And So It Goes. In title alone it's an apt conclusion, suggesting an embrace of life as lived and hinting at its open-ended continuation. The full lyrics, which Hersch has performed in duo settings with singers including frequent collaborator Kate McGarry, remain unspoken here but obviously deeply felt in every note. I connect with the sentiment of the words, Hersch says, and it felt like a good benediction to the whole album.1. The Orb
2. Whisper Not
4. Through The Forest
7. And So It Goes$18.99Vinyl LP - Sealed PRE-ORDER Buy Now
The Sound Of JazzMastered By Ryan K. Smith At Sterling Sound, From The Original 3-Track Tape
200-Gram LP Plated And Pressed At Quality Record Pressings
First Time Gatefold Old Style Tip-On Jacket From Stoughton Printing With Gorgeous Photos
Featuring Wild Man Blues Dickie's Dream And More
This 200-gram Analogue Productions LP reissue is a magnificent-sounding recording of a historic TV event. For a rare and glorious one-hour nationwide broadcast, CBS brought together 32 towering heavyweight jazz musicians of the swing era for the jam session to end all jam sessions.
The one-hour program aired on Sunday, December 8, 1957, live from CBS Studio 58, the Town Theater at 851 Ninth Avenue in New York City. The show was hosted by New York Herald-Tribune media critic John Crosby, directed by Jack Smight, and produced by Robert Herridge. Jazz writers Nat Hentoff and Whitney Balliett were the primary music consultants.
The Sound of Jazz brought together 32 leading musicians - a Who's Who of the swing era - including Count Basie, Lester Young, Ben Webster, Billie Holiday, Jo Jones and Coleman Hawkins; the Chicago style players of the same era, like Henry Red Allen, Vic Dickenson, and Pee Wee Russell; and younger 'modernist' musicians such as Gerry Mulligan, Thelonious Monk, and Jimmy Giuffre. These players played separately with their compatriots (see the song list below), but also joined to combine various styles in one group, such as Red Allen's group and the group backing Billie Holiday on Fine and Mellow.
Columbia Records released this LP in 1958 that is actually a rehearsal that preceded the telecast (recorded on December 4 at Columbia's 30th Street studios), and is not its soundtrack. The LP was released in 1958 as Columbia CL 1098, with liner notes by Eric Larrabee, and the cover photo is by Tom Yee. The recording doesn't include all of the performers on the TV show (Mulligan refused to participate because no additional payment was involved) and includes several who were not on the show. Bassist Walter Page rehearsed, and is featured on the LP, but collapsed on the way to the studio for the telecast.
For this Analogue Productions reissue we started with the original tape and the best mastering available - Ryan K. Smith at Sterling Sound did a steller job, and naturally, plating at Quality Record Pressings was handled by master plating technician Gary Salstrom. Our 200-gram QRP platters serve up an utterly noiseless background that lets the superior sonics shine through.
The show's performance of Fine and Mellow reunited Billie Holiday with her estranged long-time friend Lester Young for the final time. Jazz critic Nat Hentoff, who was involved in the show, recalled that during rehearsals, they kept to opposite sides of the room. Young was very weak, and Hentoff told him to skip the big band section of the show and that he could sit while performing in the group with Holiday.
During the performance of Fine and Mellow, Webster played the first solo. Then, Hentoff remembered: Lester got up, and he played the purest blues I have ever heard, and [he and Holiday] were looking at each other, their eyes were sort of interlocked, and she was sort of nodding and half-smiling. It was as if they were both remembering what had been - whatever that was. And in the control room we were all crying. When the show was over, they went their separate ways.
Within two years, both Young and Holiday had died.1. Wild Man Blues - L. Armstrong, F.J. Morton
2. Rosetta - W.H. Hoode, E. Hines
3. Fine and Mellow - B. Holiday
4. Blues - Giuffre, Russell
5. I Left My Baby - Rushing, Basie, A. Gibson
6. The Train And The River - Giuffre
7. Nervous - Waldron
8. Dickie's Dream - Basie, L. Young$34.99200 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now