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Value package from Real Gone Jazz: fine sound for most listeners
on 13 November 2011
In this value-package from Real Gone Jazz, you get eight classic albums from the legendary innovative pianist-composer Thelonious Monk on four disks, so financially it's a real bargain.
This is what you get:
1. Monk (1954)
2. Monk's Music (1957)
1. Thelonious Monk plays the music of Duke Ellington (1955)
2. The Unique Thelonious Monk (1956)
1. Mulligan Meets Monk (1957)
2. Thelonious Monk and Sonny Rollins (1954)
1. Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers with Thelonious Monk (1957)
2. Thelonious Monk Trio (1957)
Monk's performances are full of dissonant harmonies, hesitant pauses, and long sections where the melody is only just detectable through his characteristically percussive playing style. Through the 1950s, though respected, Monk's music was often considered "too eccentric and complex" for listening audiences. However he has gradually been acknowledged as one of the greatest-ever jazz composers/innovators: he wrote more than 70 unique individual pieces in addition to recording and extensively reworking those of other jazzmen. Monk's wife Nellie Smith, by whom he had two children, usually referred to him in public as "Melodious Funk."
The sound quality of the Real Gone re-issues has been occasionally criticised by keen-eared audiophiles, and there is some small merit in this criticism. If you are very fussy about tonal separation and want absolutely faultless sound resolution, you can buy all these albums separately - some of the recent releases, like the Fantasy label re-master of `Monk's Music', are excellent. However if you're relatively new to Monk's unique and distinctive music and just want to experience a broad selection of his output, then with this 4-disk package you can't go wrong. Granted I'm no audiophile obsessive, but to me the sound quality on this set is fine.