These two BLUE NOTE sessions led by pianist/composer Thelonious Monk(1917-1982) were recorded in New York City during 1951 & 1952. Tracks 1-9 feature Monk(piano); Sahib Shihab(alto sax); Milt Jackson(vibes); Al McKibbon(bass) & Art Blakey(drums) recorded on July 23, 1951. Tracks 10-18 feature Monk(piano); Kenny Dorham(trumpet); Lou Donaldson(alto sax); Lucky Thompson(tenor sax); Nelson Boyd(bass) & Max Roach(drums). The 18 short tracks(around the 3-minute mark) include 9 unique and timeless Monk compositions plus 6 alternative takes. It's a pity that the July 2, 1948 quartet session with Milt Jackson is not included but these early Monk recordings are gems of modern jazz and essential for any serious collection.
'Volume 2' is just as good as its predecessor- taking in seminal cuts & alternate takes- and providing us with an insight into the genius of Thelonious Monk...Both volumes, attractively priced & remastered, should be owned. After several listens these tracks will seep into your being & you could not imagine living without them...And the repetition of tracks does work- giving you a handle on the complexities of these songs- 'Four in One' (tracks 1 & 2) are the same song with subtle,cataclysmic differences...The often compiled 'Straight no Chaser' & my personal fave 'Let's Cool One' are standouts...This is the perfect album to chill to, fantastic Sunday morning music next to 'Kind of Blue', 'In a Silent Way', 'Laughing Stock', 'Tupelo Honey', 'Secrets of the Beehive', 'Happy/Sad' & so many others!!! These volumes should be owned by everyone- and along with 'Straight no Chaser' & 'Greatest Hits' provde a good overview of the Monk's music. And at this price????
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The tracks are originals and re-takes,recorded in 1951 and 52 , show the emergence of the genius and contributions by Art Blakey on drums and the other genius on vibes, Milt Jackson,for the first part of the Cd with, Monk's piano giving a brilliant combination sound scene. The re-mastered recordings are top notch and considering early recording format, stand up as fresh, as when recorded staying with the listener for repeated plays. Sax by Sahib Shihab with Monk laying down sensuous counterpoint with Milt Jackson. Lou Donaldson on sax with Kenny Dorham on trumpet compliment on the latter part of this Cd., which for it's time is truly a feast of Monk's creative abilities, aptly confirming the Genius of Modern Music,Vol 2 and Vol 1 is equally enthralling. as Monk's greatest hits Cd for some solo work and other brilliant 60's recordings, a must for newcomers to Monk and seasoned listeners, also.
This album and its companion, Vol. 1, present the titles from the original Genius of Modern Music LPs (Blue Note BLP 1510 & 1511) organised as complete sessions in recording order, instead of the jumbled order on the original LPs. Three titles from the LPs (Misterioso, Epistrophy, I Mean You) are omitted, possibly because the rest of the session was never included on the original LPs. All alternate takes are included except the alternate of Four In One.
These are essential recordings for anyone who digs Monk, as I do. The sound has been remastered and is excellent to my ears.
Volume Two includes Monk's recordings from the years 1951-52. It is really amazing how they sound so well. Very good remastering, without exagerate stereo effects, and - of course - a great jazz piano player, one of the best from all times. Highly recommended. A very elegant inner cover, but not anti-static - this is the reason I could not say 5*. Well, the cover is not what I saw on amazon, but it's a chance because it has the same design like my Volume One.