Thelonious Monk – The Composer

The two hardest type of albums for me to review are classical and jazz. It’s not because I do not like those genres, quite the opposite. It’s because I am not extremely familiar with all the details, which are not an easy learn. I approach album reviews normally from a visceral view if you will. I like to talk about the message or messages of albums, the effect they have on the human psyche and how they sound to me and all that and a little bit about the tech stuff. With jazz and classical it is a lot harder to get the effect, but easy to just listen and enjoy.
However, as duty calls I will make the attempt with those.


Artist: Thelonious Monk
Title: The Composer
Label: Columbia
Format: CD
Released: 1988
Producer: Digital producer – Mike Berniker, Original recordings producer – Teo Macero
Engineer: Digital remix engineer – Tim Geelan

This is not my favorite Jazz LP in my library, but it has its point in that there are selections that appease my love of Bebop Jazz.
This LP is a short collection of works by Thelonious Monk. There are some live tracks as well as studio.
For bio info:

My favorite tracks:

#1 Round Midnight = (From the Greatest Hits LP). Not my favorite track on this LP as I am generally not a fan of solo piano in any genre, but this is played well with a kind of openness, boarding abandon.

#2 Bemsha Swing = (From the Tokyo Concerts LP). This is a live track and we arrive at full band on this. This is more my style, saxophone is show cased here first to be taken by piano about half way through. What I like about this track is how well the ground work is laid by the rhythm section.

#3 Rhythm-A-Ning = (From the Monk’s Blues LP). To me this is the obligational Jazz improve jam

#5 Straight, No Chaser = (From the Tokyo Concerts LP).
This is another live track again and a crowd favorite judging by the audience. This is your standard Bebop style jazz (what’s not to like?) I like the heavy rhythm laid down by the drums, the rhythm section is emphasized on this number and there is the obligatory upright bass solo, which is quite long here and drum solo. No Bebop jazz number is complete without the solos, especially from the drums and/or bass in my book.

#8 Well You Needn’t= (From The LP Live At The It Club). Another of the live tracks, again the standard Bebop style. On this track you can hear the bass player playing his heart out the whole time and then taking a solo. If you listen carefully you will hear one of the band members singing the notes as well in the background. Also let’s not forget my favorite part, the obligatory drum solo as well.

#9 Blue Monk = (Previously Unreleased). This is kind of  a fun feeling Jazz/Blues number

Overall, this is an Ok album and I think part of the reason I call it just ok is that the CD sounds somewhat sterile.

Music= 5_Star_Rating_System_2_stars

Sound = 5_Star_Rating_System_2_stars