Thelonious Monk: I Surrender, Dear
I Surrender, Dear
Thelonious Monk (piano)
Brilliant Corners (Riverside 30501)
Thelonious Monk (piano).
Composed by Harry Barris and Gordon Clifford.
Recorded: New York, December 7, 1956
Rating: 97/100 (learn more)
Brilliant Corners presents some of Monk's finest work in a combo setting, but don't ignore the album's one solo piano track. This version of "I Surrender, Dear" is vintage Monk. Here we have hints of Harlem stride mixed with whole-tone runs, acerbic chords that hang above the piano sounding board like a worrisome fog, and that sputtering stop-and-start sensibility which always seems to threaten to derail the song, yet never really does. There are a couple points when I feel that Monk is about ready to walk away from the piano in mid-track, go outside for a breather, and then try another take. But no, he's just thrown me a head fake, and keeps on moving to the destination only he knows, and the rest of us must accept on blind faith. All I can say is "I Surrender, Oh Dear!"
Reviewer: Ted Gioia
If you liked this track, also check out
The Dozens: Twelve Essential Thelonious Monk Performances by Steve Greenlee