Reference: FSRCD 745
Bar code: 8427328607452
Complete Paris and Milan concerts (1961)
When it comes to a giant like Thelonious Monk, it seems like everything he did was of relevance, and these splendid concert performances are no exception. They were taped in Paris and Milan, during the first European tour of Monks quartet during the spring of 1961. It is an absorbing program of Monks originals except for the four standardsthree of them performed as unaccompanied piano solos that might just as well be originals, so startling is their transformation in his hands.
Monk always played with such wit and unerring time that he was a consistent joy to hear. Charlie Rouses very personal manner became leaner in his years with Monk, as he assimilated perfectly the leaders style, so much so that he seems the pianists alter ego. John Ore and Frankie Dunlop reacted beautifully and supplied solid rhythm support throughout. The two concert sessions were not produced by Riverside, but were acquired as a way of closing out their association with Thelonious Monk.
"Frequently imitated, never replicated and always inspiring, pianist Thelonious Monk is featured here on this fun and energetic pair of discs from a pair of concerts that were previously issued as Monk in France and Monk in Italy. His quartet includes the rough and ready toned Charlie Rouse/ts along with John Ore/b and Frankie Dunlop/dr and Monk mixes standards like a solo take of April In Paris and Body and Soul with joyful and bouncy originals such as Well, You Neednt and Rhythm-a-ning. Monk is insouciant and the rhythm team is effervescent on Off Minor while Rouses smoky horn is elastic as well as angular. Its amazing that the world still hasnt caught up to the vision and creativity of this protobopper. Fun and fantastic."
George W. Harris -April 22, 2013