2 dic. 2008


Thelonious Monk Plays Duke Ellington

Here's a Riverside recording produced by Keepnews in the 50s for the Riverside label. It has really strong bass lines by Oscar Pettiford, and a set of overfamiiar Ellington songs like It Don't Mean a Thing If It Ain't Got That Swing, Caravan, Mood Indigo, I got it Bad and That Ain't Good. The concept of Monk playing Ellington is just that... a concept, a gimmick if you will. I've always enjoyed Monk playing standards though. A real love of the music comes through whether he's playing Gerswhin's Nice Work If You can Get it or a largely forgotten tune like Lulu's Back in Town. Here, the advantage is that it's Ellington, one of the great songwriters of that era. I wonder what Duke thought of this!

I've known one cut off this for years, a version of Black and Tan Fantasy, but the rest of it I've gotten to know more recently. He plays Solitude like he wrote it.

1 comentario:

John dijo...

"Solitude" is astounding. I once used it in a film soundtrack.

I think Ellington heard this and reacted by making more outlandish trio records himself. His trio with Mingus and Roach out-Monks Monk, and even his version of "Summertime" on "Piano in the Foreground" is wilder than anything on here outside of "Solitude." Monk's playing here, "Solitude" excepted, feels inhibited, by his standards.