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Thelonious Monk



Thelonious Sphere Monk (October 10, 1917 - February 17, 1982) was an American jazz pianist and composer. Monk had a unique improvisational style and made numerous contributions to the standard jazz repertoire, including "'Round Midnight", "Blue Monk", "Straight, No Chaser" "Ruby, My Dear", "In Walked Bud", and "Well, You Needn't". Monk is the second-most recorded jazz composer after Duke Ellington, which is particularly remarkable as Ellington composed more than 1,000 pieces, whereas Monk wrote about 70. His compositions and improvisations feature dissonances and angular melodic twists, and are consistent with Monk's unorthodox approach to the piano, which combined a highly percussive attack with abrupt, dramatic use of silences and hesitations. He was renowned for his distinctive style in suits, hats, and sunglasses. He was also noted for an idiosyncratic habit observed at times during performances: while the other musicians in the band continued playing, he would stop, stand up...

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Nov 8, 2016. 12:34pm
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On Apr 4, 2011. 11:36am
Christopher Lynch said

Monk remains to jazz what Van Gogh is to art - a true individual. A wonderful yet quirky composer - one of the greatest in the USA - who almost broke our hearts with "Round About Midnight" and smirk cheerfully with "Epistrophy". It's hard to imagine an experimenting modernist like Monk admiring James P.Johnson for example, but that was our Thelonious.
So much about 'The Sphere' epitomised jazz, from his zany hats, habit of dancing around the piano and some of those adorable iconic album covers! Great recommendation.

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