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4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars

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TOP 100 REVIEWERon 14 February 2012
This remarkable Carnegie Hall concert was recorded by Voice of America on November 29, 1957 but the tapes languished in the Library of Congress vaults until their CD release in 2005.
The short-lived Thelonious Monk-John Coltrane quartet had been playing regularly for several months prior to this concert so the level of understanding between them was high.
The 9 tracks come from the early and late show with Monk sounding happy to be playing the Carnegie concert grand piano and Coltrane in inspired form on tenor.
Ahmed Abdul-Malik(bass) & Shadow Wilson(drums) are supportive throughout.
This superbly recorded live album is an important find and absolutely essential for all fans of Monk & Coltrane.
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on 25 August 2007
It was always thought Coltrane and Monk's legendary collaboration was not properly documented. Just the beautiful "Ruby My Dear", two other studio tracks and some poor quality recordings from the Five Spot Club. But now there is this. I jumped for joy. Monk's solos make me laugh out loud especially on Blue Monk and Coltrane's playing is awesome. Coltrane once said that getting lost while playing a Monk tune was like falling into a lift shaft. Evidence is littered with lift shafts but he is right on top. Nutty is outstanding too with both musicians clearly enjoying themselves.

If you want another laugh, check out the reviews on the amazon.com site. Kenny G indeed!

Just to clear up one thing. I had no problems downloading this on to my computer (using Real Player) or transferring it to my Creative mp3 player. But then again shame on the people who try to protect this especially considering it was recorded by Library of Congress for all mankind! And what a gift it is.

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Five Stars? SIX, for sure. New York City hall had given up on Monk! Miles had given up on Coltrane! When Monk's legalities and Coltrane's health allowed, Monk was the first to reach out to Coltrane for his first NYC gigs. A meeting of KINDRED SOULS in need of relaunching their careers and, in the process, REVITALIZING Monk's music. The historic results of their meetings are documented on other CD's as well, but this rare jewel of a recording managed to slip by everyone for decades, hidden away on Voice of America tapes. All jazz fans should hear this CD, and 'to hear it, is to want it'.

Trust me, you may know Monk's songs by heart but these performances at Carnegie Hall have their own fabulous iridescence that demand a place among your most treasured jazz music. The CD yearns for deep concentration that will yield boat loads of enjoyment from some truly stunning solos. As noted elsewhere, it's a pure pleasure to hear Monk on a perfectly tuned concert grand piano that has been played by other masters of classical, jazz, and pop music. He deserved it ! And Coltrane added ANOTHER DIMENSION to Monk's music. A dimension different from Rollins and Rouse. Every song is a "Piece D'Resistance".

The Early Show: Cutting sharply but deeply.
Monk's arpeggios behind Coltrane's magnificent runs on "Monk's Mood" are fabulous, in and out of tempo. "Evidence" has an unusual density not heard before. The unison head notes are pure beauty and the rhythm section of Shadow Wilson and Ahmed Adbul-Malik gets it right on time. "Crespuscule with Nellie" becomes a delta blues of rare beauty and empathy. Monk's solo on "Nutty" is spellbinding and Trane makes his solo memorable as well. "Epistrophy" once again proves that Monk was able to squeeze 'surprise' out of his most well-known compositions. Check out Shadow's protean cymbal work, adding an unusual color to the head.

The Late Show: More arranged structure but longer, looser performances.
Throughly warmed up to it's environs, the quartet takes it to another level with "Bye-ya". Check out Trane's unique launch into this solo. And Monk is the "Comp Master", for sure. "Sheets of sound" make their first definitive appearance as Trane tears out huge chunks of wonderfulness from the theme. Monk polishes up a jewel of a solo. "Sweet & Lovely" finds Monks carving out 'sweet' territory on the song, while Trane plays background harmony until he steps forward with an extended, sweeping, gear-shifting 'lovely' group of statements. "Blue Monk" has Trane's best solo moments of the night, slightly ahead of "S&L". And the fragmented "Epistrophy" is a set closer with Trane really setting sail for distant shores, Monk's incomplete solo fittingly fades into history, unfinished. As all jazz should be!

Thank you, T.S.Monk, Michael Cuscuna, Lewis Porter, Larry Appelbaum, Coltrane family, and thank you Blue Note Records. "Bye-ya"!
(Note: don't give up, Larry, find those Rollins and Gillespie tapes from the same concert, please)
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on 1 October 2005
In one word, "WOW!!" Sorry for my lack of eloquence, but if you want superb articulation, expression, originality, creativity, delivery, verve, just listen to the "Thelonious Monk Quartet with John Coltrane," the find of the 21st century and a real buried treasure! The 1957 concert, spotlighting pianist/composer Thelonious Monk and tenor saxophonist John Coltrane, took place at New York City's Carnegie Hall and was recorded with state-of-the-art equipment by Voice of America for a later radio broadcast, (which never occurred). The tapes were located, (by sheer chance), at the Library of Congress in Washington DC early this year. The concert was a benefit for the Morningside Community Center in Harlem, and the line-up of artists also included Billie Holiday, Dizzy Gillespie, Ray Charles, Chet Baker with Zoot Sims, and Sonny Rollins. Another "WOW!!"
Coltrane and Monk had been playing together for approximately four months at the Five Spot. The quality of their working relationship is evident from the extraordinary opening piano/saxophone dialogue of "Monk's Mood" through "Epistrophy," the last cut of the two 25-minute sets which make up the CD. There are actually two versions of "Epostrophy" here, the complete one showcasing Monk at his best, and an incomplete second take in which Coltrane simply shines.
The musicians are clearly at ease with each other and confident with Monk's tricky, quirky keyboard compositions. They each contribute outstanding solos accompanied by bassist Ahmed Abdul-Malik and drummer Shadow Wilson. Monk's music, his idiosyncratic piano sound and compositions, have had a tremendous impact on modern jazz, even now, almost twenty-five years after his death. However, his recordings from this period are rare.
This never-before-heard jazz classic was just released by Blue Note Records, in conjunction with Thelonious Records, and is sublime. The album documents one of the most important working bands in the history of jazz. I rejoice that this lost music, just glorious, has been found and that I can listen to it anytime I want. 10 Stars and worthy of the highest recommendation!!
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on 28 December 2012
Forget any idea that two such noted individuals might not work too well together. They are a superb combination. Terrific jazz. Also worth noting that sound/recording quality is very good. Highly recommended.
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on 23 March 2008
There is nothing more to say on the musical genius or the African American roots of this pairing - that has all been said by the other reviews. This is a recording that was lost for almost 50 years and which has given us all a wonderful gift of music that can only be understood by hearing it and then breathing in the depth of the music. The sounds produced here are not from 1957 they are timeless, the music and the beat will always go on and Monk and Coltrane will live forever with this recording. I sure as heck wish I was there when they played Carnegie Hall that night.....
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on 20 July 2009
Just terrific. I read about the CD in a detective novel and couldn't wait to get my copy. I'm NOT at all surprised that it is a special CD.
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on 18 December 2010
Although this has been available for a few years now, I have only just got around to purchasing it. Considering the age etc of the recording, the sound quality is fantastic and I would recommend it to any Jazz fan .
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 6 December 2015
This recording from 1957 unlike many discoveries from the vaults is something that needs no qualifying statements to justify its purchase. For anyone who likes / loves Coltrane and/or Monk this is an absolute must. The level of performance is inspired, tight and focused. There is no sense of needless noodling. The nature of Monks tunes- melodic and individualistic as they are, seem to preclude jamming of the open –ended, indulgent variety. That is not to say that Coltrane doesn’t get to blow, because as ‘Blue Monk’ suggests, he can and does but it is all contained in a well defined musical structure.To round off, what is a very satisfying disc, the exemplary notes make for a good read and the very detailed and warm recorded sound captures the group in their full glory. Highly recommended.
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on 12 March 2006
Coltrane and Monk together in an archived performance only recently discovered. Thank God it was! This is to be listened to again and again and celebrated joyously. What more can I say?
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