Thelonious Monk: Bright Mississippi


Bright Mississippi


Thelonious Monk (piano)


Live at the Jazz Workshop – Complete (Columbia/Legacy C2K 65189)

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Thelonious Monk (piano), Charlie Rouse (tenor sax), Larry Gales (bass), Ben Riley (drums).

Recorded: San Francisco, November 4, 1964


Rating: 91/100 (learn more)

One of the most fun tunes Monk wrote, “Bright Mississippi” is based on the melody and chord changes of “Sweet Georgia Brown.” The eight-minute version Monk’s quartet recorded at San Francisco’s Jazz Workshop is an upbeat romp. Charlie Rouse, an underrated saxophonist who lived in Monk’s shadow, casts out a terrific, weaving solo before Monk gives up his own, smartly using both space and contrast. Larry Gales musters a long bass solo that never grows tiring, and Ben Riley brings it home with a drum solo that plays off Gales’s plucking. Nightclub jazz at its finest.

Reviewer: Steve Greenlee


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