Thelonious Monk: Ruby, My Dear (with John Coltrane)


Ruby, My Dear


Thelonious Monk Quartet (with John Coltrane)


Thelonious Monk With John Coltrane: The Complete 1957 Riverside Recordings (Riverside RCD2-30027-2)

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Thelonious Monk (piano), John Coltrane (tenor sax), Wilbur Ware (bass), Shadow Wilson (drums).

Composed by Thelonious Monk


Recorded: New York, July 1957


Rating: 99/100 (learn more)

Choosing just one version of “Ruby, My Dear” as Monk’s finest is no easy task. This one stands out for Monk’s strong comping behind John Coltrane, who states the theme and then launches into a romantic solo that strays farther and farther from the melody before coming back around to join it. Monk plays with restraint, never giving in to the urge to splash his perverse tendencies onto Coltrane’s canvas. When he does finally solo, it is with a reverence for his own composition. This two-disc set also includes a version of “Ruby, My Dear” from a few weeks earlier that featured Coleman Hawkins on tenor sax, with similarly satisfying results. Also worth hunting down: a sweet, unaccompanied version on the Columbia album “Solo Monk” and an 11-minute version that Monk’s quintet recorded at the 1963 Newport Jazz Festival.

Reviewer: Steve Greenlee

Streaming music links (courtesy of Concord Music Group)

Thelonious Monk & John Coltrane: Ruby, My Dear (Windows)
Thelonious Monk & John Coltrane: Ruby, My Dear (Quicktime)

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