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'.
I sometimes wonder if this was Monk's greatest recording. I have a lot of Monk, but not everything by a long chalk, so to be definite is impossible. It's without doubt a very fine album. Recorded in concert at the "Five Spot" in 1958 with Johnny Griffin (tnr), Ahmed abdul-Malik (b) and Roy Haynes (d). [I debate whether Griffin or Rouse is the better interpreter of Monk's music]. This is a very fine quartet, and Monk and Griffin play brilliantly. In the ten track programme here there are plenty of his "top tunes" e.g. "blue Monk", "Evidence", "Rhythm-n-ning" plus some rarely performed tunes such as "Coming On The Hudson".
Every Monk album is good, many superb...this is definitely in the latter category.