on 11 June 2008
Brilliant album, although by some opinions not essential in the magnificent Thelonious Monk's opus, contains strong trio and quartet performances by the group that includes the great Charlie Rouse, another voice of the leader's musical mind,and equally impressive and coherent bass and drums players...
For the reasons of variety and additional spice, Jon Hendricks' vocal on In Walked Bud (a true jazz-standard) is well executed and very wellcome, although it doesn't elevate the band's performance as I have hoped. However, not much elevation is needed here.
This album is a pure joy and as for the cover... Well, see for your self. Where can I buy a poster of this picture?
p.s. if you buy the edition with bonus tracks, it's neither a plus nor minus in the overall picture.
This neglected quartet/trio album from the great pianist/composer Thelonious Monk(1917-1982) was recorded on December 14 & 21, 1967 and February 14, 1968 with tenor saxophonist Charlie Rouse, bassist Larry Gales, drummer Ben Riley and vocalist Jon Hendricks on 'In Walked Bud'.
Everyone is in exuberant form on the seven tracks(plus 3 alternative takes) which feature 4 new Monk originals.
Highlights include 'Boo Boo's Birthday' dedicated to Monk's daughter Barbara, 'Green Chimneys' named after her school and 'Ugly Beauty' in waltz-time.
Despite its Grammy-winning cover photograph, 'Underground' is an overlooked Monk album containing over 71 minutes of inventive and exhilarating music that still sounds fresh today.