Tuesday, October 10, 2017


Thelonious Sphere Monk was the Einstein of Jazz, the pinnacle of genius as both a composer and performer, the most sui generis of all music creators (my perspective but many others, whose opinion I respect, concur)...Here he is in 1969 performing his best known "tune" (written back in the '40s) and in some ways least challenging to the listener of all his compositions, "'Round Midnight"...I figure few folks will have, or take, the time to listen to over six minutes of a solo musical performance that doesn't have anything other than one man at a piano (and some static-y old European TV footage which lasts less than a minute), but if you watch to the end, it will become more and more apparent why Monk is held up as unique and unprecedented...Just imagine what the reaction was from most of the musical performance world to his deliberate dissonance and stop-step rhythms when this is the most accessibly simple of his compositions, in many ways (leading to its popularity)...also go back and listen to any recordings made before Monk to appreciate what a revolutionary he was...


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