The Complete Riverside Recordings of Thelonious Monk is one of those collections I want to listen to in my house. Monk spent six years at Riverside, and it is captured on these fifteen discs. Thelonious Sphere Monk is one of my two jazz favorites – he brings an eclectic style to jazz that I remember Dave Chappelle characterizing as off rhythm but perfectly on rhythm all at the same time. It takes Monk’s genius to exploit syncopation in such a profound way.
They say that Monk’s best periods were from his years under Columbia, but I enjoy listening to it all. I’ve gotten into a few Riverside releases, but this is the Mother of All Monk.
This is a fitting beginning to this journal, which is entitled, “Let’s Call This ….” Often people have no idea how the abstractions of jazz are named, and it is said that Monk was asked by his producer what he wanted to call a track they had been laying down in the studio. Monk said, “Let’s call this …. ” And so it became, a fitting title for a piece that doesn’t need the ornament of a more clever moniker.
(Of course, in the case of this blog, I just wasn’t clever enough to think of anything.)
About this blog. I want to read about music I like, but I’m tired of having a hard time finding it. So this is a journal of good music. Sometimes greasy sometimes silly and always funky. My musical interests range from 1920s jazz to pre-1970 Miles to underground hip hop. From simple Cooleyhighharmony to complex A Love Supreme, I just like music with soul.
I love to share in the good times music brings. I love discovering new music. I can’t over analyze music or tell you its deep dark secrets, or even how Thelonious does what he does. I have no theories about Jaki Byard, and I cannot tell you what’s in Charles Mingus’s soul or how Neal Evans does two separate rhythms with each of his hands at the same time.
But if you dig the music I dig, leave a blue note, and if you’ve never heard of it pick it up at a garage sale. Thanks for reading.