My son bought me this by the way of a gift voucher,so i went on line & bought it,i have played it all back to back.It is an astonishing recording first & foremost& i have just enjoyed 3 hours of bliss.A delighted 71 yr old. Bob.
These CDs are best played when you have the time and space to fully appreciate the mastery of the man.
Like all great musicians and thinkers, the ellipsis between the sounds or the words, are as important as the music or the text. The silence acts as a conduit for the listener or reader to fill in a way that is most creative.
Few artists have this majestic capacity. Monk has. These CDs are a conversation between Monk, the instrument and with the listener. And what a conversation! I emerge from the exchange, enhanced by the experience and with a a sense of privilege, to be in such company.
I listened to this album whilst convalescing after illness, having spotted it (shame!) in a second hand shop. This is a beautiful collection of timelessly affecting music which manages to be both immensely challenging and quietly soothing (trust me!). Every jazz collection should contain this album
Monk was weird. This collection of solo recordings in the 1960s shows him to be out of step with the age and all the more contemporary because of it. Whilst his contemporaries were raging and screeching, here's Monk recording some well-known and totally obscure songs from the 20s and 30s in the apparently hopelessly outdated stride piano style. Yet Monk makes it sound vital, through reharmonisation and wonderful improvising, that genuinely sticks to what is written but transforms it into something better. "I Should Care" for example is reduced down to a few components but sounds as complete and satisfying as a symphony. When I bought this 7 or 8 years ago, I listened to it almost endlessly for months. One critic said with Monk you enter "a private sonic world." That's it exactly.
Give it ten stars. Monk always holds your attention.
Even has Fanny Crosby's "Blessed Assurance", which I love, being a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ. I hope that Monk was a believer. You never know. He was from North Carolina, so he must have heard the gospel.