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Unique Thelonious Monk [VINYL]

Thelonious Monk, T. S. Monk Vinyl

Price: £14.63 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  16 reviews
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Introduction! 9 Aug 2000
By M. Allen Greenbaum - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
This is a beautiful set of standards played by the innovative, brilliant Monk. He displays a variety of styles, from the long melodic lines of Bill Evans to some power stylings recalling Mingus. Of course, there's the usual Monk dissonance and tempo variations (and these make even the tired "Tea for Two" sound fresh!), but this effort also shows Monk's strength on straight-ahead jazz as well.
There is a quiet poignancy to Monk's playing of "Darn That Dream," and the Razaf/Blake "Memories of You," but Monk also swings strongly on "Honeysuckle Rose (Razaf, Waller)." He's more boppish on Gershwin's "Liza," with a surprisingly fast interpretation, yet he remains always in control. Superb comping from Oscar Pettiford on bass and Art Blakey on drums on this song especially, and throughout (no surprise there!).
This is really a tremendous CD, highlighting Monk's virtuosity on many jazz piano styles (yet unmistakably "Monkish"). Sound quality is excellent. I recommend this highly both to Monk aficionados and those just getting into his uniquely wonderful style. But please, if you like this one, don't stop here... check out Monk's own compositions on "Genius of Modern Music," "Brilliant Corners," and other CDs available at Amazon!
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great trio work with a unique talent at the keys 28 May 2003
By J. Levinson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Great trio work with a unique talent at the keys, but this is tempered by the fact that, while Monk had all those great pioneering original compositions written, when he signed with Riverside in 1955, producer Orrin Keepnews persuaded him to first record standards so he would appear more accessible to the average jazz fan. It's fascinating to here him interpret these well-known tunes in his inimitable way, and this may serve as a low-risk way for a newbie to check out Monk, but it's down the list of critical Monk CD's to begin building a collection with. "Brilliant Corners" or "Monk's Music" are better places to start for those bold enough to sample pure genius. Also, Pettiford and Blakey are excellent but fairly restrained here, as the purpose of this recording was to showcase Monk's playing. Still, if you love Monk and jazz standards, this is pure ear candy.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 1955 just comes alive with classic Monk Tunes 23 Aug 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
This recording was origionally released in 1955 and re-released in 1979 by Milestone Records along with "T. Monk Plays Duke Ellington" as "The Riverside Trios". This is aka Riverside #201, the Ellington recordings are Riverside #209. Both recordings complement each and were recorded in the mid fifties and gives new revival to the jazz of that time. A must addition to any jazz collection.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding value on vinyl 17 May 2013
By J. Heywood - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Vinyl|Verified Purchase
I picked up the vinyl pressing here on Amazon. Just got it yesterday and don't want to take it off my turntable. The vinyl is standard weight. The album cover looks like a reprint of the original which I like. Appears to be original liner notes on the back. No frills, regular paper inner sleeve. Amazon does a nice job with vinyl shipping too, keeping the cover nice and ding-free. The sound of the album is alive and clean. Very warm, open and friendly recording that is well reproduced through the vinyl medium. Not sure what the source for this pressing was, but it sounds uncompressed and warm.

This is my first Thelonious Monk record and I enjoy his style immensely. He has a dissonant style that somehow works even though it almost seems like it shouldn't. My 20-year old son and I have been listening to a lot of Brubeck lately, as well as Miles Davis and wanted to branch out to other jazz musicians. This album is not as polished or sophisticated as Brubeck or Davis. But that's part of what I like. Is there such thing as a garage jazz band? This would be it I guess. Raw and live-sounding, but still full of character and sophistication.

I like the varied styles between tracks. There's no listening fatigue that you can get when everything just sounds the same. A little swing here, a little jam there, some ebb and flow, and a banging drum solo. Keeps it interesting and enjoyable.

I will definitely be picking up more Monk.

One more thing I really like that Amazon is doing is the Auto Rip. While I'd prefer to listen on vinyl, I don't have a turntable in my car, or at my office. So using the Amazon Cloud Player on my phone and computer, I have this automatically. Amazon even automatically downloaded it to my phone as soon as I purchased. Was actually listening to the cloud player two days before I got the record. Great service Amazon.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a breakthrough in '56 6 Nov 2009
By J. Palmer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
'The Unique' was recorded in the spring of 1956 and 'Brilliant Corners' in the fall. I think this year marks a real breakthrough for Monk - I've been listening to the discography in chronological order, and I feel like this would be a good place for a transition from an 'early' period to 'middle' period for Monk.

He's here with Art Blakey on drums and Oscar Pettiford on bass, and it's all Monk, and he is masterful. It starts with a jaunty 'Liza, All The Clouds Will Roll Away', moving into a meditative, thoughtful, 'Memories of You'. 'Honeysuckle Rose' starts out peppy, almost old-timey, like if you transported Monk back to the 1930's for a minute, and then it just rolls. He's almost solo on 'Darn That Dream' and 'Tea for Two', where Pettiford does some nice bass work. Monk is all up and down the scales on 'You Are Too Beautiful', and he ends with 'Just You, Just Me', where he plays the piano like it was a set of drums.

Obviously, I can't pick a favorite here. Throw in the iconic postage stamp album art, and this is the earliest Monk album I can definitely describe as 'must have' for any jazz enthusiast.
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