Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Essential Monk Recordings

Here are some suggestions for the collector wanting to get some essential Thelonious Monk recordings.  You can hear a lot of this music right now at Jazz Note Radio on Live365.  See the link top right. 
  1. Brilliant Corners (Monk's best single recording and one of the best albums in modern jazz)
  2. Misterioso & Thelonious in Action (Two albums of Monk live at the Five Spot)
  3. Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers with Thelonious Monk
  4. Thelonious Monk & John Coltrane Live at Carnegie Hall
  5. Monk's Music
  6. Underground
  7. Live at the It Club
  8. Monk in Paris
  9. Alone in San Francisco
  10. It's Monk Time
That's a pretty good basic Monk collection.  You can add a lot by investing in two box sets.  One is The Complete Blue Note Recordings, which gives you most of the early Monk recordings.  I can't remember what I paid, but I seem to recall that it was a bit pricey.  Alternatively you could get Thelonious Monk: Genius of Modern Music.  There are two or three discs sold separately, and they're affordable.  

The second box is Thelonious Monk: Original Album Classics, which includes five Monk albums made for Columbia.  They come in sleeves with the original covers, so its five albums for a very reasonable price.  I paid about $18 for it, but you may not get that good a deal.  

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