Here we have a 56-minute CD comprising seven Monk Quartet tracks recorded 1961-64 at various locations. The sound quality is decent enough. Charlie Rouse on tenor sax is in attendance throughout. Having a liking for Frankie Dunlop on drums, tracks 1, 4 and 5 are the stand-outs for me, but there are no duff items. In the same package is a DVD (black-and-white picture, slightly less satisfactory sound); this runs about 28 mins and shows the Monk Quartet doing three numbers at the smoky, sweaty Marquee Club, London, in 1965. Taken in the round, the package is interesting and collectable.
This is a bargain: Six titles played by the Monk Quartet on the tours in the early 60's in Europe (one title is not from Europe, but from Monterey 1963, and already on the double-CD available in stores). The music is great, what else do we expect from our genious Thelonious !!?
But the best thing in this edition is the DVD= containing one out of two parts recorded by the british BBC in London in 1965 with the quartet playing on March 14, 1965 ! To my big suprise this is part one of the two available parts, and this is the part, which BBC4 did not re-broadcast last year, and neither in February this year. They repeated twice part 2 of this session from Marquee Club. So I am really happy to find this DVD here with this great picture-quality !!
This is a great cd/dvd showing what Thelonius Monk does best and that is to create great jazz. If you're looking for easy standards, this isn't for you, but if you're looking to widen your listening experience, then you gotta listen to Monk. His music is just great, it challenges and it gives you the unexpected, with lots of dissonance that works just beautifully just love the man