Wonderful Monk-THE place to start.
Andy Williamson | Chicago, IL | 02/21/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This disc is my favorite of Monk's. It's a blast to listen to and very easy to hum along to. Great tunes! This is also a great place for those unfamiliar with Monk to begin to explore his unique piano universe. A number of my friends who normally do not listen to jazz have found themselves really enjoying this album. Monk was uniquely able to craft instantly catchy tunes without sounding cliche or Kenny G. Check out "Bright Mississippi" for starters. The music *sounds* like sunlight glistening off of the waters' surface. The way this group swings has not been matched, except perhaps by a few Art Blakey recordings. Not one even average tune. An amazing album and a high point in Monk's career.Essential."
Most composers can only dream of such perfection
rballjones | Des Moines, IA USA | 04/29/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I just love to discover great new or old music and it's happened again with Thelonius Monk. I'd always heard *of* him but never got around to listening. Well, jazzed by the recent Ken Burns series (although I missed the Monk portion), I bought a Monk CD, and another, and now more. I'm knocked out by Monk's Dream and Straight, No Chaser in particular. He plays such pretty melodies on the piano but always with a touch of dissonance (although not too much). It's as if Monk is saying, ah, it's a beautiful world but some things aren't quite right so I'm gonna add a little edge to this chord--which he does. Monk is mercurial, with swing. And the band swings right along. The interplay between Monk and Charlie Rouse is especially satisfying. Agreed, this is a great CD for introducing someone to jazz."
rballjones | 11/27/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I have been told that this is not one of Monk's best albums, but that doesn't mean that I can't enjoy it. Every time I listen to it, it still seems fresh and enjoyable. Sounds like they were having a good time making it, which is always a nice thing. If you're interested in Jazz Piano, you can't go wrong with Monk, and if you're going for Monk, at least in my opinion, you can't go wrong with this album."