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  • 5 By Monk By 5
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5 By Monk By 5

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As influential as he proved to be during the final decades of his lifetime, it appears that Thelonious Sphere Monk (1917-82) has only gained greater stature in the years since his death. Once considered too eccentric and complex to be appreciated by listeners and other musicians, Monk has become a standard of excellence, as both composer and soloist, for those who seek to extend the jazz ... Read more in Amazon's Thelonious Monk Store

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Product details

  • Audio CD (5 Jun. 1995)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Original Jazz Classics
  • ASIN: B000026EQF
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 748,312 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Jackie-ing
2. Straight, No Chaser
3. Played Twice
4. Played Twice*
5. Played Twice*
6. I Mean You
7. Ask Me Now

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
This overlooked quintet album from the great pianist/composer Thelonious Monk(1917-1982) was recorded in New York on June 1&2, 1959 with the underrated Thad Jones(cornet); Charlie Rouse(tenor saxophone); Sam Jones(bass) & Art Taylor(drums).
Everyone is in exuberant form on the seven tracks(including three versions of 'Played Twice') especially Monk & Thad.
Highlights include 'Jackie-ing', dedicated to Monk's niece, 'Straight No Chaser' & the haunting 'Ask Me Now'.
'Five By Monk By Five' contains almost an hour of inventive and exhilarating music which still sounds fresh over 50 years later.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 19 reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
A lesser-known Monk album 18 Oct. 2001
By N. Dorward - Published on
Format: Audio CD
This album documents the first studio performance of Charlie Rouse with Thelonious Monk (he'd also had a role earlier in the year--1959--in Monk's Town Hall concert). It is also notable for the inclusion of the cornetist Thad Jones, who is still perhaps better known as a composer & bandleader, but who was also a fine soloist. The band is completed by the bassist Sam Jones & drummer Art Taylor.
Like most of Monk's Riverside albums this follows the usual pattern of introducing one or two new (& difficult) Monk originals to a program otherwise made up of older more familiar (& easier) Monk tunes. The two new tunes here are "Played Twice" & "Jackie-ing": the former is presented on this CD in 3 different takes (each of these new tunes proved sufficiently demanding that they each took up an entire studio session; the other 3 tunes were recorded on yet another day, making this a 3-day session). "Played Twice" is an interesting tune which never quite got a definitive reading--the originally released LP had take 3 spliced with the ending of take 2. The casual listener will want to program out the extra takes, but in fact they're quite welcome here, though on the whole I think this the least achieved track from the album. "Jackie-ing" is the standout track: first, because of its slippery, bridgeless theme, rounded off by three clangorous chords from the piano; secondly, because the brisk series of improvisations show all the musicians at their best. In this case, unlike the case of "Played Twice", the unfamiliarity of the tune & the added tension in the studio help give the performance a bright edge & telling concentration. (Monk originally failed to bring along the music, tried to teach it to the other players by singing it in the studio, then was forced by the protesting musicians to return home to retrieve the music.) -- The three other tunes, "Straight No Chaser", "Ask Me Now" & "I Mean You", are given relaxed, confident readings; "Ask Me Now", the session's one ballad, is a beauty, & Rouse's solo on "Straight No Chaser" is a particularly good one. Rouse isn't as brusquely in command on this album as he is on say the later _Monk's Dream_, but his work is certainly harbinger of the close relationship between tenorist & pianist in years to come.
I think this album doesn't rank with Monk's most imposing work. For one thing, it's a tad unfocused: all of the tracks except "Jackie-ing" hover around the 10-minute mark, & I get the impression that Monk was trying to get the album made in a hurry, Prestige-style (originally he recorded just the four long tracks & told Orrin Keepnews that was enough for an album--Keepnews pointed out that 38 minutes was a rather ungenerous playing-time, & asked for one more tune, hence the return of the musicians to the studio to record just "Jackie-ing"). But it's a solid album, & will be enjoyed by anyone interested in Monk. I should add that another version of "Jackie-ing" with Rouse was recorded in an equally fine version in Italy in 1961--this LP, _Monk in Italy_ was Monk's last disc for Riverside, & like the companion _Monk in France_ disc is unjustly little-known.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
TuneMaster Monk 29 Nov. 2012
By BebopGrandpop - Published on
Format: Audio CD
I enjoy hunting out the streaming internet radio stations playing '50s-'70s Bebop, and feeling the impact that greatest period of American jazz has had. These stations are all over the globe, and certainly now (2012) there are many, many bebop-hip Europeans. Perhaps hipper than the younger American generations of today, in terms of the knowledge and love for the great, everlasting art that was laid down back then.

I haven't done a scientific study of it, but of the TUNES played on Bebop radio, it's amazing how many are Thelonius Monk's; maybe 20%?. Now I know that the "Great American Songbook" (mostly Broadway show SONGS (tunes+lyrics) that evolved to Jazz Standards both vocal and instrumental-only) accounts for much of what is played; but then there are those wonderful jazz TUNES written by Ellington, Monk, Shorter, Miles, Gil Evans, etc that are so uniquely our jazzmen, standing alone on their own creativity. And global jazz fans have figured out how cool and endlessly listenable these tunes are.

When my pop-music girlfriend is visiting, she can recognize and sing along with a jazz version of an American Songbook tune. But when I hear a tune like Monk's "Evidence" coming on, I heads-up her: "Hey Babe, this is a jazz tune you won't know, but see if you can envision a person-of-interest making a few evidentiary/forensic mistakes, and getting busted....rightly or wrongly....:)

There's one Netherlands station (ConcertZender Hard Bop Boulevard) and it is fun to listen to Bebop selections being described in erudite Dutch (which I don't comprehend) but soon here come the names: Thelonius Monk. Charlie Rouse. Thad Jones. Sam Jones. Art Taylor. Jackie-ing.

And that's where I heard this record. Anyone who can sit still while Jackie-ing may need a pacemaker. What a great, unique tune it's always been. Thad's solo is gorgeous, as is the sound on this CD. Monk's crazy comping works fabulously. The guy was a one-off genius!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
An underrated little jewel by Monk 12 Oct. 1999
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Audio CD
This is a great record make no mistake. Underrated and little known because there are no 'big' names on it. Thad Jones on cornet is great with a fat no nonsense sound and then Charlie Rouse on tenor! Listen carefully to 'Ask me now' a not so popular little jewel by Monk. Odd enough I don't know why the producers decided to put three takes from the same tune in succesion. Why didn't they put the alternates at the end? Beats me.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Challenging for the novice, but worth it. 24 Jan. 2005
By Kingboy - Published on
Format: Audio CD
This CD was my first foray into Monk, about 15 years ago. These songs have been in my head ever since. The album is a great mix of more obscure tunes (Jackie-ing) and signature tunes (Straight, No Chaser). I'm not a musician, so forgive my use of terms, but I struggled at first with Monk's playing, which to me often seemed off key. But I listened more and learned to love Monk's off-beat phrasing and experimentation. He really takes you on a journey with each song. Monk is truly a genius, and his talent shines here. Great backing band too. This album really swings as well, which helps you through the more challenging parts.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
The Cornet Of Thad Jones Adds Shine To The Jamming 15 Jun. 2006
By JG - Published on
Format: Audio CD
Highly recommended..Granted,this is no "Brilliant Corners" or "Monk's Music" or the collaborations with Coltrane and Rollins.. nonetheless to hear an early Charlie Rouse and Thad Jones as the guest certainly adds fire and imagination as the CD notes on it's package.

Monk's complicated swing remains intact and it is of interest to hear the evolution of the track Played played on 3 takes..the CD clocks in at an hour.

Worth it especially to hear the gusto of the traditional trumpet sax mix valued in that era of post bop.
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