on 28 September 2013
I purchased this budget 2-for-1 and I'm obliged to report it's a false economy. I love Monk unequivocally and the music itself gets 10 stars out of 5. However, these 'remastered' CD's sound heavily muffled, pronouncedly hissy and noisy and, to my ears, are actually unlistenable. They sound like dubs from old LPs or, at best, third or fourth generation tapes. One of these records is a solo piano album by a musician famous for his wide open spaces. You really want to hear a load of white noise in those spaces? Then buy this set.
My advice is to spend just a couple of pounds more and buy these albums individually in their 'Keepnews Collection' incarnations. Remastered by their original producer Orrin Keepnews, complete with informative notes by Keepnews and reproduction sleeve art, they glow from the speakers and present this brilliant, beautiful, unique music as it's really meant to be heard.
'Thelonious Himself' (my favourite Monk album, incidentally) isn't available from Amazon UK for some reason, but a quick google will bring it up elsewhere for under a fiver. Brilliant Corners is here:
on 18 February 2013
This two cd set shows the best of Thelonius Monk. Disc 1 has Monk playing with Ernie Terry,Sonny Rollins,Oscar Pettiford, Max Roach, Clark Terry and Paul Chambers. On the second cd Monk is on his own except for the last track where he is joined by John Coltrane and Wilbur Ware on bass. This set shows Monk at his best along with other legends of that era. Just Brilliant.