At the age of five or six he began picking out melodies on the piano and taught himself to read music by looking over his sister's shoulder as she took lessons. Monk started to play piano from the age of six, learning just by observing his sister playing the instrument. Meeting Is Arranged. He also went to the prison once where he was beaten with a baton. – Steve Einerson, pianist (New York, NY), “It advances your conception of what a melody can be and it gives a different perspective on harmonic timing and motion.” His very personal style of both playing and writing songs has both simple and complex sides to them and is a great place to study and improve your jazz solos. Possibly the first abstractionist/restructuralist/post-modernist in jazz.” https://www.thefamouspeople.com/profiles/thelonious-monk-5168.php, Celebrities Who Look Beautiful Even Without Makeup. One of the early practitioners of bebop during the 1940s and '50s, his complex compositions featured irregular rhythms, dissonant sounds and a … Monk recorded ‘Brilliant Corners’ in 1956 and composed his own music for the first time for Riverside records. Huge, crucial part of the bebop scene and played with all the greats, without really playing anything resembling bop.” He was so proficient in the art that by the time he was 13, he had won so many weekly amateur competitions at the Apollo Theater that the management barred him from contesting ever again. © 2020 Jamie Breiwick Music. "Jazz pianist and composer, Thelonious Monk" or " The Jazz pianist and composer Thelonious Monk". Essential Jazz Classics | ★★★★ Thelonious Monk (p), Oscar Pettiford (b) and Kenny Clarke, Art Blakey (d). [2] Monk had a unique improvisational style. In Thelonious Monk… He was introduced there to Baroness Pannonica "Nica" de Koenigswarter, who was also a patroness of several New York jazz musicians. I’ve been a fan of Monk’s music as far back as I can remember and that was a magical time in my life. In A New Biography, Thelonious Monk Minus The Myth Robin D.G. One of the early practitioners of bebop during the 1940s and '50s, his complex compositions featured irregular rhythms, dissonant sounds and a … Recognized as one of the most original musicians in American history, Thelonious Sphere Monk fashioned a startlingly unique, inimitable playing and composing style that influenced virtually every succeeding jazz generation. Listen to his late 40’s recordings and he even sounded like Teddy Wilson. Birthday: October 10, 1917 Black Celebrities Born on October 10, Born in: Rocky Mount, North Carolina, United States, African American Men Thelonious Sphere Monk was born October 10, 1917, in Rocky Mount, North Carolina. I was talking with my good friend Steve Peplin, who was in the midst of an intense study of Monk’s music himself. Thelonious Monk Essay Sample. In the following years, he recorded as a leader for Blue Note. He was put on antipsychotics and lithium, but there was no change in his mental instability. He doesn’t necessarily pick an “ugly” note, but he’ll choose something that sounds out of place… but the ear accepts it, makes you think what’s a good sound and what’s not.” Thelonious Monk was born on October 10, 1917 in North Carolina to Thelonious and Barbara Monk. The first musical sounds he heard were from a player piano that his family owned. She offers two versions of �Get it Straight� here, both featuring the bass of … Roman Catholic Answer A monk is important insofar as his life conforms to that of his Savior. Psychiatry was a decidedly inexact science in the 50s and 60s, and it was not uncommon for black men who, like Monk, had experienced hostile encounters with the police to be institutionalized. Monk, way back in 1991 when I was an 18-year-old production coordinator for the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz (now called the Hancock Institute of Jazz). (of course Coltrane sounded incredible with Cecil Taylor too. But a comic thought is one that looks at reality from a slightly skewed perspective and yet it is still looking at reality. His very personal style of both playing and writing songs has both simple and complex sides to them and is a great place to study and improve your jazz solos. Located in present-day Silicon Valley, the Bay Area city of Palo Alto was a most unlikely place to catch a Sunday-matinee performance by Thelonious Monk back in 1968. But lots of players play his tunes, and they often miss the vibe completely. “Depth. [26] Throughout his career Thelonious Monk gained recognition as one of the most adventurous and influential musicians in jazz. His compositions were dissonant with angular melodic twists and silences. Thelonious Monk is one of the greatest jazz musicians of all time and one of first creators of modern jazz and bebop. The world didn’t discover Thelonious until he was on the cover of Time magazine, so there was a good 25 years of Thelonious Monk that was primarily a live artist. He’s playing the form. That may lead to an understanding of the hidden truth of your situation, a worldly issue, another person, or of an idea or dream you might be harboring. It led me to explore other artists who found inspiration in Monk’s compositions such as: Steve Lacy, Barry Harris, Don Cherry, Alexander Von Schlippenbach, Bud Powell, Jason Moran, Sonny Rollins, Ethan Iverson (his writings on the topic of Monk are detailed, read more here > Do the Math), among many others. After a lot of deliberation, Monk signed with Columbia Records in 1962, when his relationship with Riverside got affected over disagreements concerning royalty payments. Thelonious Sphere Monk [1] (October 10, 1917 – February 17, 1982) was an American jazz pianist and composers who is not only considered to be one of the legends in jazz, but "one of the giants of American music". A list of BBC episodes and clips related to "Thelonious Monk". Not into illusions. Monk attended the Stuyvesant High School for some time but drooped out of it to pursue his passion, music. He was a significant jazz musician who helped Monk realize his destiny. “Why, Thelonious Monk.” But by that time the quarry had disappeared. ‘Round Midnight from BP with Bird in 1949 (I think) is just ridiculous. Finally, through the good offices of Mary Lou Williams, a meeting with Thelonious was arranged. Thelonious Monk's Advice The following fantastic list of advice comes courtesy of legendary jazz pianist Thelonious Monk , a musical genius who died exactly 30 years ago, on February 17th of 1982. Thelonious Monk was an important member of the jazz revolution that took place in the early 1940s. – Tony Barba, saxophonist (Madison, WI). Two years ago, I began a “journey” studying the music of Thelonious Monk. – Dave Bayles, drummer (Milwaukee, WI), “Pause for a moment and forget “the chords/voicings, the unorthodox technique.” His groove and sense of time is remarkable. His son explained in the movie how Monk did not talk to people for days and then suddenly got excited for a few days and then become a recluse again. There were all these interesting tunes that he had just recorded once years ago and he wasn’t even playing them himself. The family moved to Manhattan, New York City, when Monk was only 4 years old - he lived there for almost 50 years of his life. In order to take some pictures in the right setting, we went up to Minton’s Playhouse at 208 W. 118th St. In 1941, he joined the house band at Minton's Playhouse in Harlem, where he eventually helped in the construction of a jazz school called Bebop. Anyhow, at the end of the day the important thing is that the music on Thelonious Monk’s Palo Alto was discovered, restored and released in a variety of formats. Monk’s music is a necessary part of any jazz improvisor’s repertoire.” Steve Lacy! He also evolved stylistically… and lots of artists do. – Johannes Wallmann, pianist (Madison, WI), “Monk’s music is extremely important to study. I decided to ask “Why is it important to study the music of Thelonious Monk”? – Tim Whalen, pianist (Washington DC), “Especially in an era when many bebop improvisors are trained to play off scalar/harmonic progressions regardless of the composition, it is important to address Monk’s approach to playing his compositions, in that he expected performers to play the tunes (even while improvising), rather than regurgitating licks and patterns that happen to fit a chord.” That we are all different. Owing to that, he became one of the few jazz artists to have featured on the cover of Time magazine. And reminds us again of how important a jazz musician he was. He was thinking of putting a group together to perform only Monk compositions. Roy Haynes’ playing on the “Five Spot” recordings with Trane was super important for me too. Charlie didn’t even name his tunes. Thelonious had a love for the piano from a young age, and grew up in Manhattan around lots of musicians. As far as percentage of compositions that became jazz standards, he holds the record (as far as I know), and that would seem to be an important measure. He was so far ahead of his time that some people had trouble with his apparent disregard for convention. Monk worked with Columbia Records from 1962-1970 and released albums like ‘Criss Cross (1963)’, ‘Underground (1967)’, ‘Monk’s Blues (1968)’, etc. As far as percentage of compositions that became jazz standards, he holds the record (as far as I know), and that would seem to be an important measure. The list was transcribed by saxophonist Steve Lacy in 1960. Although, these were the glorious years of his career but his creative output remained limited and his compositions were repetitive. Monk married Nellie Smith in 1947, and the couple had a son, T. S. Monk two years after the wedding, who is a jazz drummer. Rec. Also, he’s great. “I see Monk’s turning the phrase “always know” into its punning twin “all ways know” as a key to his musical approach and philosophy. 1. It is a story that, like its subject, reflects the tidal ebbs and flows of American history in the twentieth century. Thelonious Sphere Monk was a famous American jazz artist, pianist, composer and performer. There are way too many untruths to list here. As the pianist in the band at Minton’s Playhouse, a nightclub in New York City, in the early 1940s, Monk had great influence on the other musicians who later developed the bebop movement. How many ballad compositions came out of the boppers? On two occasions Monk was found with narcotics and he got in trouble with the law. All rights reserved | design by JohnChristensenWebDesign.com. Mine came when I … In 1944, Monk recorded his first tunes with the Coleman Hawkins Quartet. So, it excited me a lot that there was this body of music. Like much great art, he gives us a fresh perspective on the world and, with Monk, you have a good time getting there.” This is especially obvious when Butch Warren and Frankie Dunlop are in a good mood, as they are here. It was the reason why his cabaret card was revoked for many years and he was not allowed to play music in the night clubs of New York where alcohol was served. And a misdiagnosed bipolar condition meant he … “Two reasons? Whatever way you listen, this album is one of the most important releases of 2020. It’s one of the harmonic blueprints for modern jazz composition. The most advanced yet melodic, catchy material in jazz music. As influential as he proved to be during the final decades of his lifetime, it appears that Thelonious Sphere Monk (1917-82) has only gained greater stature in the years since his death. In 1957, ‘Monk’s Music ‘was released and almost all the songs on the album were his original compositions. They became very good friends. Thelonious Monk is one of the most important composers and improvisers to emerge from Bebop. – Luke Polipnick, guitarist (Omaha, NE), “His use of altered dominant chords and extensions in a melodic way without using the motif of the song. So Monk’s notion of “all ways know” is an effort and technique to keep your mind open for all the possibilities. – Dave Miller, guitarist (New York, NY), “It’s so unique to the jazz idiom. Monk! He really developed a unique “Monk” sound, though widespread recognition of this certainly has come posthumously. Its ok to play simple ideas if you mean it.” Influenced melodic and rhythmic improvisation and composition to a future generation of musicians. He is often called “one of the founding fathers of the Bebop Revolution of the forties” (Crouch 86). Thelonious Sphere Monk (October 10, 1917 – February 17, 1982) was an American jazz pianist and composer. Being one of giants of the American jazz music, Monk was honored with the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1993, after his death, and in 2006, he was posthumously awarded a Pulitzer Prize Special Citation. Wearing dark glasses and a variety of distinctive hats and given to occasional cryptic pronouncements, Monk … We knew there was something on the other side, and we wanted to go through it to see what was there and how it would be after we’d gone through it.” He didn’t need more than 32 bars (most of the time) to create something of depth.” Steve Lacy’s response, when asked the question “Why just Monk’s music?”, “Well, it had a certain consistency to it. I wanted to see the proportions of the whole thing and to check out the consistency of the language. A biography on him titled ‘Straight, No Chaser: The Life and Genius of Thelonious Monk’, released in 1997, stated how Monk suffered from manic depression, bipolar disorder and a possible schizophrenia but his psychiatrists could not recognize it. “Why, Thelonious Monk.” But by that time the quarry had disappeared. As Monk saw it, "The piano ain't got no wrong notes!" “1. Some serious, some funny. His musical priorities were as follows: motivic development and voice leading. Thelonious Monk >Along with Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie [1], Thelonious Monk >(1917-1982) was a vital member of the jazz revolution which took place in >the early 1940s. Thelonious Sphere Monk [1] (October 10, 1917 – February 17, 1982) was an American jazz pianist and composers who is not only considered to be one of the legends in jazz, but "one of the giants of American music". While preparing for the gig with Steve, I quickly realized I only knew a handful of Monk tunes – the ones that everyone knows/calls at jam sessions (Well You Needn’t, Blue Monk, Straight, No Chaser, etc). He went on to say that he looks forward to “expanding the organization’s important worldwide jazz education and humanitarian initiatives.” Whether or not the institute’s associated schemes will also be renamed, for example the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition, remains to be seen. Some clear, some cryptic. In the last six years of his life, Monk was invited to live in Weehawken, New Jersey home of his longtime friend and patron, Baroness Pannonica de Koenigswarter and he died of a stroke on February 17, 1982. His touch on the piano was unorthodox—harsh, percussive and flat-fingered. 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