on 8 June 2008
This album really gives you the essence of Monk - his brilliant compositions, remarkable work on the standards, collaboration with wacky musicians such as the great Charlie Rouse (with the rest of the band being equally convincing!)...
This great quartet really compliments each other; backing each other, sometimes playing solo, giving a first-class modern jazz Monkery! And, considering the style and the selection of songs, this really gives you the impression of being the essence of Monk's art! You even here him playing a beautiful solo piano on "Don't Blame Me"...
5 stars? What else!
p.s. - there are some fine liner notes; the original by the great baroness Pannonica and the more analytical by Dick Katz (himself a pianist in addition to other things he does).
p.p.s. - there are also bonus tracks; completing the album with the rest of the sessions, otherwise scattered on various compilations and other editions.
on 9 May 2011
To paraphrase a well known saying, I don't know much about jazz but I know what I like. And I like this bebop brew. Full of magical musical mystery as the Monk and his musicians play with melody, time and space, but never obtuse - a definite precursor to the rock experiments of, say Radiohead. A welcome addition to my slowly growing jazz collection.
on 3 August 2006
This is wonderful, the earliest Monk recordings, Charlie Christian on some of them. But why the Hell AMAZON should continue to publish the description of this stuff as involving Charlie Rouse (except that what is said is true of a different set, on Columbia and also called Criss Cross!) beats me. The above description's of an entirely different and considerably later recording. It deserves several stars, this one gets five,