Thelonious Monk: Jackie-ing
Thelonious Monk (piano)
5 by Monk by 5 (OJCCD-362-2)
Composed by Thelonious Monk.
Recorded: New York, June 4, 1959
Rating: 95/100 (learn more)
The 1950s and '60s were a time when many jazz giants walked the earth, but there was also an abundance of distinctive, instantly identifiable soloists who are underrated today because they didn't inspire waves of imitators. Thad Jones and Charlie Rouse are prime examples. Though Rouse is remembered as a great interpreter of Monk's music, Thad's influence as a writer has overshadowed his greatness and originality as a player. Thad's work on this album, and on Big Band and Quartet in Concert on Columbia, served to establish him as one of the greatest and most sympathetic exponents of Monk's music. "Jackie-ing" presents the kind of sparse harmonic structure and simple motivic melody that only Monk could create and to which only a true, in-the-moment improviser can do justice. It seems to put up a 'sign warning "No lick-playing beyond this point!" During a cab ride 30-odd years ago, Tom Harrell and I were discussing Thad's playing on this track, and Tom summed it up perfectly, saying that (remember, this was in the '70s) Thad's solo "sounds like Louis Armstrong on acid."
Reviewer: Kenny Berger
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Tags: 1950s jazz