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Thelonious In Action
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Thelonious In Action

20 Nov 2006 | Format: MP3

8.99 (VAT included if applicable)
Also available in CD Format
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  • Label: Decca (UMO)
  • Copyright: (C) 1988 Fantasy, Inc.
  • Record Company Required Metadata: Music file metadata contains unique purchase identifier. Learn more.
  • Total Length: 1:02:18
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B001KEDDM2
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 128,910 in MP3 Albums (See Top 100 in MP3 Albums)

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Eric Rice on 19 Nov 2010
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is modern jazz at its exciting and driving best. All the musicians are on top form and this album along with its sister recording, " Misterioso" are essential to any jazz collection.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Guitar Quartet on 7 July 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
a fantastic compilation from 2 nights at the 5 spot club. an amazing band with great performances from everyone with Johnny Griffin in particular on incredible form. there are other versions of this available but the sound quality and mastering etc. are excellent here. if you only want to buy one Monk record then this has got to be strongly recommended. great tunes too!
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This overlooked live album from the great pianist/composer Thelonious Monk(1917-1982) was recorded at the Five Spot Cafe, New York City on August 7 & July 9, 1958.
With the pianist were tenor saxophonist Johnny Griffin(1928-2008), who had a close understanding of Monk's music, and a superb rhythm section of Ahmed Abdul-Malik(bass) & Roy Haynes(drums). It's a pity that this exciting quartet didn't record together more often.
Everyone is on exuberant form on the ten tracks including three bonus performances. Highlights are the rarely-played 'Coming On The Hudson', 'Rhythm-A-Ning' & 'Evidence'.
This atmospheric live recording contains over an hour of inventive and exhilarating music and deserves a place in any modern jazz collection along with its companion album 'Misterioso'.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 14 reviews
48 of 49 people found the following review helpful
The BEST of the BEST 8 Aug 2003
By B. Matthews - Published on
Format: Audio CD
I own every Monk album commercially released and many others that were not, and the Five Spot recordings are my favorites of them all. Here in my opinion is the *perfect* Monk quartet. Each musician is a shining star melded into a super creative force. They KNOW this music. Griffin soars on sax, his bop chops impeccable. He knows Monk's changes inside out and wrings breathtaking surprises out of them. His playing is more Monk-ish than Rouse, Coltrane, etc.. Abdul-Malik, probably the most underrated if not unknown jazz bassist, similarly makes his instrument sing here. He backs the group with drive and verve and his true-to-Monk solos are among the finest you will ever hear in a Monk group. Roy Haynes on drums is the perfect drummer for Monk--Blakey (except on the two Genius of Modern Music's) and Dunlop overpowered the music, and I love Blakey--because the always musical Roy Haynes got INSIDE with subtleties and textures that escape the others. His cymbal work is unparalleled; his snare/bass drum interactions riveting, his solos creative, unexpected and thoroughly satisfying.* Thelonious's playing on this disk is awesome. His chords, his comping, his solos, his timing... everything is so right! This was recorded at a time when the tunes were fresh, with lots left to explore. There are none of the repetitive pianistic cliches Monk seemed to favor later on in his career. I could run down the tunes track by track extolling everything even measure by measure, but suffice to say that together these men were all at their peak creativity down in the Village in the late 50's, and laid down musical history on these wonderous tracks. I have listened to "In Action" and "Misterioso" (the other equally great Five Spot recording) hundreds of times and never tire of it -- the music is that superb. Let this one into your head! It demands repeated listenings. After awhile pay attention to one musician at a time and just follow him because there are *artists* at work here. In sum, buy it YOU WON'T BE DISAPPOINTED.

*late (by 7 years!) edit: Should have added this personal anecdote years ago. One night after a set at the Vanguard in the early 1960's, a young and foolish teenager saturated with Roy Haynes' impeccable percussion on the Five Spot records summoned up the courage to speak to the imposing Monk. "You should get Roy Haynes back, man. Roy Haynes is your drummer." Monk actually replied: "Roy's a good drummer" - and whirled off!
55 of 64 people found the following review helpful
Five Spot--I was there! 6 Sep 2001
By Jeff Cox - Published on
Format: Audio CD
In 1958, I was 18--old enough to buy a beer. When I got to Manhattan, I'd head straight for the Five Spot (5 St. Mark's Place in the East Village). Beers were 75 cents. No cover, minimum only on weekends (it was $2). We'd try to be cool, be beat, make up poetry, but soon stopped that nonsense when Monk began to play. It was electrifying. I remember sidling up toward the piano to get closer, and Monk turning to me and saying, "Stand back, kid." Jeez. Sorry. But I loved every note. I saw that his disconnected rhythms came out of the physical way he played, arms twitching and hands jerking from side to side at unexpected moments. Now when I tell my jazz-loving friends that I saw Monk at the Five Spot, they say, "Awesome man." But to me, as a teenager, it was just wonderful art to be soaked up. This CD captures a bit of the feeling of the time and place, but you don't get the frisson, the edginess, the sense of being at an important time and place, that the actuality carried with it. Still, of course, the music is what's important. I love this CD because I might very well have been in the audience the night this was recorded, and it's a bit of my own history as well as Monk's.
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
This Monk album has it all. 2 Oct 1998
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Audio CD
I would include this album on any short list of "the best jazz albums of all time." This is a superb quartet, recorded superbly, with Johnny Griffin in top form on the Tenor Sax. Monk's playing is typically sardonic. The quartet's rendering of Monk's "Rhythm-a-ning" includes one of the best tenor sax solos ever recorded. Outstanding!
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
another underrated gem 27 Aug 1999
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Audio CD
Both this and "Mysterioso"--the other half of his five spot concert-- get overlooked by fans. Johnny Griffen never got the respect he deserved when he played with Monk. Coltrane had too large a shadow. But do yourself a favor: both Five Spot CDs are loads of fun. The sax work is not as challenging as Coltrane's, sure, but Griffen's blues-based style fits nicely with the band and adds another dimension to Monk's music.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Brilliant, Inspired & Real 10 Oct 2003
By ChipBoy - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Admittedly a jazz novice, this disc is arguably one of Monk's best. The third number, Rhythm-A-Ning, has some unbelievable, swinging performances by both Griffin and Monk. The realism of the live performance is easily recognized by the phone ringing during a drum solo (I think during Blue Monk) and Monk saying "Johnny" before a number begins. I wish I could have been there because it is obvious these guys knew how to jam.
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