Reference: DRCD 11287
Bar code: 8436006492877
This CD has been replaced by its recent reissue as part of the Essential Jazz Classics label. Reference #EJC55495
This outstanding release presents the complete trio recordings by the Thelonious Monk Trio made between 1951 and 1954. It is an important corpus, for with the exception of his first trio session in 1947, the Plays Duke Ellington recording in 1955 and his late 1971 London encounter with Art Blakey and Al McKibbon, these are the only studio trio recordings by Monk. Thelonious usual setting was the quartet (with tenor saxophonist Charlie Rouse his most frequent collaborator), and for a couple of years he also fronted an outstanding octet/nonet, which included such outstanding figures as Clark Terry, Ray Copeland, Johnny Griffin and Phil Woods.
He also used to play tunes alone during his concerts, showing his versatility and his stride roots. It is not known why he didnt favor the trio format, but it might be related to the multiple voices present on many of Monks compositions, which probably made them better suited to be played with horns. However, the trio recordings compiled on this CD demonstrate that Monks tunes were also well suited for this setting. Moreover, here he is free to develop them without restrictions, carefully accompanied by the talents of Art Blakey and Max Roach. Moreover, these were the first recorded versions by Monk of all of his compositions included here. We have here, for instance, Thelonious first version of his celebrated 'Blue Monk.'