Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
The London Collection: Volume Three
Genres: Jazz, Pop
Thelonious Monk's final studio recordings took place in London in 1971, including solos and a trio with bassist Al McKibbon and his long-time associate drummer Art Blakey. The solo tracks include the still joyously skewed ... more »
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Thelonious Monk's final studio recordings took place in London in 1971, including solos and a trio with bassist Al McKibbon and his long-time associate drummer Art Blakey. The solo tracks include the still joyously skewed stride of "Trinkle Tinkle," while Monk is both authoritative and witty in the trio renditions of "Hackensack" and "Evidence." The most remarkable track is "Chordially," a nearly 10-minute tape of Monk warming up at the piano, testing chord changes and voicings and revealing, at the end of his career, his creative processes in embryo. --Stuart Broomer
Outtakes from the first two volumes.
Michael Stack | North Chelmsford, MA USA | 01/31/2006
(2 out of 5 stars)
"In 1971, Thelonious Monk recorded two albums in London that would prove to be his last recordings-- issued as "The Londong Collection" with a volume one and two, the first volume consisted of solo piano performances and the second of trio performances with bassist Al McKibbon and drummer Art Blakey. Some years later, a volume 3, made of of outtakes of solo piano and trio performances, surfaced.
The material on here is fairly mixed-- truthfully, some of it is fantastic, not the least of which is Monk's reading of Gershwin's "The Man I Love". A piece not associated with Monk (although he did record it as part of Dizzy Gillespie's big band in the 1940s and a Miles Davis group in the '50s), Monk gives it a delicate and sensitive reading in a straight arrangement that just shines. Similarly, solo blues "omething in Blue" finds a deep mood between the blues and Monk's stride roots, and an energetic trio take of "Hackensack" finds tight performances from the group, particularly an inventive pianist.
Nonetheless though, these are outtakes, and it shows at times-- two takes of "Trinkle, Tinkle" seem nice enough but for the downright irritating presence of a too-long fingernail scratching the piano keys, a solo piano reading of "Introspection" fizzles after the theme statement, and the trio session recording of it (and for that matter the included alternate of "Crepuscule with Nellie") borders on lethargic rather than a full of life slow blues.
It's not really to indicate this isn't a worthwhile purchase-- it probably is, particularly for Monk fans, but it's not a good introduction and it might turn soemone off to either monk of the London sessions. Newcomers to late Monk should seek out volume one and two (newcomers to Monk in general would probably do far better with the superb and recently released Monk/Coltrane "At Carnegie Hall" recording). For those who do need this, dig up the remaster-- it can be found with a little work on the Amazon zShops, the sonic improvement is well worth the extra bucks if you're interested in this, but the more casual fan can skip this one."