Thelonious Monk, The Riverside Anthology, NOT3CD059
This new Thelonious Monk set has 3 classic albums across 3CDs all presented with neat packaging, photographs, slim line style and songwriter and recording session information too. All Riverside, earliest on CD3 is the artistic success Mulligan Meets Monk 1957 then the aptly titled 5 By Monk 5 lastly, Alone in San Francisco both of these dating from 1959.
"Mulligan Meets Monk" has a mellow and innovative quartet setting and comprises music by Monk, Mulligan and others in a spirited meeting of minds that embraces their own music plus standards such as "Sweet and Lonely". It was a deliberate pairing by the Riverside label and made Monk more high profile. "5 By Monk 5" has self penned compositions apart from a collaboration with Hawkins on track 3. A quintet setting that includes the cornet adds to the overall mood of the album. The higher register of the tenor sax and the inclusion of the cornet in the line up adds urgency to these Monk compositions all of which sound very modern. "Alone in San Francisco", exactly that. The selections are a mix of self penned and standard era material given a modern interpretation by Monk. This album clearly demonstrates his skill at filling the studio with as much music as possible without the backing of other musicians. A good example of this is on track 4 and an extended working of "Everything Happens to Me" not to forget Irving Berlins evergreen at track 8 "Remember". Liner notes by Peter Gamble. Total running time for the set approx 127 minutes. Sound quality excellent throughout. Excellent value. Other Thelonoius Monk CDs on Not Now Music are: Thelonious Monk, Brilliant Corners,2CD,NOT2CD350