Thelonious Monk: Nutty
Thelonious Monk (piano)
The Complete Prestige Recordings (Prestige 4428)
Composed by Thelonious Monk.
Recorded: Hackensack, N.J., September 22, 1954
Rating: 96/100 (learn more)
Charles Delaunay and Thelonious Monk, 1954
Photo by Marcel Fleiss
The eccentricities of certain artists are essential to their mystique. One such is Thelonious Monk. Despite an unfailingly protective family, the so-called "Mad Monk" had repeated run-ins with psychiatry. During one 30-day hospitalization, he was diagnosed with "unclassified schizophrenia." Evidently Monk's madness, like his music, was too weird to categorize. "Nutty" shows why shrinks threw up their hands when confronted with the peculiar potentate of percussive dissonance. Trying to pigeonhole Monk is as futile as tossing Cracker Jack at your mouth on an upside-down merry-go-round. Here, Art Blakey's drumming shows he understood Monk better than a phalanx of physicians. Suspend analysis, kick back and groove.
Reviewer: Alan Kurtz
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