- ‘Round About Midnight
- Suburban Eyes
- In Walked Bud
- Monk’s Mood
- Who Knows
- Ruby My Dear
- On the "Bean"
- Flyin’ Hawk
- Well You Needn’t
- I Should Care
- I Mean You
- All the Things You Are
This record covers five sessions; Thelonius Monk plays Piano on all.
19 October 1944
Coleman Hawkins – Tenor, Denzil Best – Drums, Edward Robinson - Bass
15 October 1947
Idrees Sulieman – Trumpet, Danny Quebec West – Alto, Billy Smith –
Tenor, Gene Ramey – Bass, Art Blakey – Drums
24 October 1947
Ramey – Bass, Blakey – Drums
21 November 1947
Sahib Shihab - Alto, George Taitt – Trumpet, Robert Paige – Bass, Art
Blakey – Drums
2 July 1948
Milt Jackson – Vibes, John Simmons – Bass, Shadow Wilson – Drums Kenny
Hagood – Vocals.
Thelonious Monk was and remains an enigmatic figure in jazz, when I
first heard his playing I did not like it at all. When I had been playing
the Saxophone for some years, I started to appreciate the unique style
of Monk’s compositions and through that a liking for his quirky piano
style blossomed. If you want to understand what Monk was about, you
need to be patient with yourself, whilst your mind gets used to it.
For me he was at his best in the Quartet he led with the legendary Charlie
on Tenor. These records, which were made in the 1940’s, have been processed
for noise reduction and the music has been made easier to listen to
because of it. This is a good collection to start to know Monk from.
‘Round About Midnight is still often heard, but In Walked Bud, Well
You Needn’t and I Mean You are all essential numbers for the aspiring
jazzman. Less well known is Evonce, but I am already looking through
the ‘fake’ books to try to find it!
The Coleman Hawkins Tracks come from records originally accredited
to ‘Bean’ and they contain some good examples of his playing, there
is also some good vibes playing from the then young Milt Jackson. Art
Blakey is on drums on many of the tracks, but he sounds little like
the Blakey we know from the more recent Jazz Messengers, although he
still makes things swing.
I think this album which is on the low cost Naxos label is an interesting
record of the earlier work of one of Modern Jazz’s great characters,
pianists and composers.