TheloniOus Monk, goddamnit! There's a second O in the man's name! GODDAMNIT! GET IT RIGHT! SHOW SOME FUCKING RESPECT!

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(wipes spittle from chin)

Okay, you can ignore this bit of pedantry now.

Austin Still (Austin, Still), Tuesday, 2 August 2005 16:05 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Who's this The Linus Monk guy anyway?

donut ferry (donut), Tuesday, 2 August 2005 16:09 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Is it capitalized, too?

The Ghost of Imprecise Pedants Make The Baby Jesus Cry (Dan Perry), Tuesday, 2 August 2005 16:10 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

no, italicized

Austin Still (Austin, Still), Tuesday, 2 August 2005 16:11 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

"Who is the loneliest monk?"

Myonga Von Bontee (Myonga Von Bontee), Tuesday, 2 August 2005 16:15 (thirteen years ago) Permalink



PappaWheelie (PappaWheelie), Tuesday, 2 August 2005 16:22 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Yhank you, Austin.

M. V. (M.V.), Tuesday, 2 August 2005 16:27 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Silly, I know, but a long standing pet peeve.

Austin Still (Austin, Still), Tuesday, 2 August 2005 16:31 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Eliot Smith

Whiney G. Weingarten (whineyg), Tuesday, 2 August 2005 17:03 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Elliot Smith

Whiney G. Weingarten (whineyg), Tuesday, 2 August 2005 17:04 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Vince NEil

Huk-L (Huk-L), Tuesday, 2 August 2005 18:03 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Thelonious Munk?

LFI, Tuesday, 2 August 2005 18:51 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Art Tater Tot

jaymc (jaymc), Tuesday, 2 August 2005 18:56 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I once had one of my English intro classes do a paper on "existensialism"...and that is how I spelled it for 'em!!! Neadless to saye...

M. V. (M.V.), Tuesday, 2 August 2005 19:03 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Who is the loneliest monk?

As a child, I once asked my father this very question. He has, on occasion, reminded me of it.

jhoshea (scoopsnoodle), Tuesday, 2 August 2005 19:05 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

p.j. (Henry), Tuesday, 2 August 2005 19:09 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

two years pass...
two years pass...

"pannonica" makes me want to curl up by a fire with a good book, preferably around christmastime.

flaccid house (The Reverend), Saturday, 18 September 2010 15:04 (eight years ago) Permalink

was just listening to "the man i love" from that miles davis/milt jackson 1954 jazz all stars session -- funniest/most awesome solo from monk. i get the feeling he was seriously fucking with miles.

tylerw, Saturday, 18 September 2010 17:58 (eight years ago) Permalink

Oh man, Monk is the best.

o. nate, Sunday, 19 September 2010 03:21 (eight years ago) Permalink

I often come home from work to find my 15-year old listening to my Monk CDs. One of my crowning achievements as a parent!

Overblown 80's Gated Snore (Dan Peterson), Monday, 20 September 2010 13:48 (eight years ago) Permalink

i get the feeling he was seriously fucking with miles.
Oh, totally. Miles had no sense of humor.

Jazzbo, Monday, 20 September 2010 13:51 (eight years ago) Permalink

five months pass...

is this the only proper monk thread? ffs

Algerian Goalkeeper, Tuesday, 22 February 2011 21:26 (seven years ago) Permalink

he has infinitely fewer posts than the mumford & sons thread fwiw

Damn this thread seems so....different without ilxor (ilxor), Tuesday, 22 February 2011 21:32 (seven years ago) Permalink

Is this thread actually about him, or just about misspelling his name and the names of others?

What You Know Is POLLS!: The Orson Welles Poll (James Redd and the Blecchs), Tuesday, 22 February 2011 21:36 (seven years ago) Permalink

Monk/Coltrane Tapes Discovered
What are some good 'solo' Thelonious Monk albums?

but that's about it

Brad C., Tuesday, 22 February 2011 21:56 (seven years ago) Permalink

Thelonious Sphere Monk

richard melville hell (crüt), Wednesday, 23 February 2011 02:14 (seven years ago) Permalink

TS Monk

m0stlyClean, Wednesday, 23 February 2011 04:35 (seven years ago) Permalink


What You Know Is POLLS!: The Orson Welles Poll (James Redd and the Blecchs), Wednesday, 23 February 2011 20:58 (seven years ago) Permalink

two months pass...

great '85 interview with frankie dunlop on monk:

I learned so much from Monk—things that he told me about his philosophy on life that have helped me—things that I laughed about. He used to tell me that it's easier to play fast than slow. When he first told me that, I thought, "Oh no. There's no way in the world." But Monk was right. It's harder to play slow and accurate. He proved it to me. I'd been playing fast with all these groups. Man, there was no way anyone could tell me that some of the upstairs tempos I played with Maynard weren't the end all to drumming. Monk proved it to me on my first night, when I rejoined him in 1961 at the new Five Spot. We were in the back room and Monk said, "You want to solo and play fast all the time. All drummers are that way. When you're playing fast, soloing, and throwing your sticks, you think you're really playing. In your estimation, that's the hardest. Well, you know, it's really harder to play slow than it is to play fast, and to swing and create something while you're doing it." Monk finished talking to me, and we went up to the stand. Monk had his hat on. The place was packed. He started off the tune with an extra-slow tempo. I wondered what was going on. Charlie Rouse came in and played the ensemble; Monk jumped off the piano and started dancing during Charlie's solo. He danced over to me and said, "Okay. Get to me now. Swing it, pal." I was wondering if I was doing it. I had to concentrate so hard on the music that I couldn't look at the audience. I couldn't look at the door. I couldn't even look to see what time it was. I had to swing. I thought, "Oh, my God." I was playing slow, which was the hardest thing for me. Monk would dance up to me and say, "Okay Frankie, come on now. Let me see you swing now. Shit. I told you it ain't easy to swing when you're playing slow. I told you that, didn't I? Come on."

I said to myself, "Well, I'll just keep the time and get with John Ore. I know I'll never get a solo." Monk played his little solo after Charlie. Then he jumped up and said, "You got it. Drum solo." And John Ore was still playing the bass. Monk said, "It's a solo, John. Frankie's got it. Go on, Frank. Wail." And John stopped. The tempo was way down here. I thought, "What do I do?" I'd been used to playing all this fast stuff. It was so fast that, even if I'd miss a beat or lose my ideas for two measures, it wouldn't mean anything because the people wouldn't know it. But the tempo was way down. Monk said, "Drum solo. Let me hear something, Frank. Don't be bullshittin'." I was trying to do things that I couldn't do. Monk said, "And keep the time. Here's the tempo. Don't play some shit that you don't know nothing about." I didn't even know how to put a paradiddle in there, because I'd never played a paradiddle that slow. And whatever I played, Monk said that he wanted it to make sense. I couldn't do any of my rudiments. It's a different musical approach that I'd never attacked. And all these people were looking at me. Tony Williams, Tootie Heath, Clifford Jarvis—all these drummers were out there, because they'd heard me play a little on the first gig I had with Monk. They knew I'd been with Maynard and Duke. Here I was coming back with Monk. They figured that I was going to be wailing. I was thinking the same thing, and Monk put this on me. Do you know what? It not only made me look like an ass, but I also played like an ass, and it really showed me how handicapped I was.


adult music person (Jordan), Wednesday, 4 May 2011 21:07 (seven years ago) Permalink

that easier-to-play-fast thing is God's own truth and just speaking from uhh another perspective one thing frustrating about it is audiences really respond to fast hard playing but when you get better, actually quantifiably better, you want to play slower because now you can, and audiences attribute that to something other than having become a good enough musician to play slow

five gone cats from Boston (underrated aerosmith bootlegs I have owned), Wednesday, 4 May 2011 21:14 (seven years ago) Permalink

word, but isn't being able to handle slow tempos in an accurate, musical, and engaging way all part of maturing as a musician? and rock audiences aren't very big on maturity afaik.

adult music person (Jordan), Wednesday, 4 May 2011 21:30 (seven years ago) Permalink

nine months pass...

So I'm watching Straight No Chaser for the first time in years and it strikes by how goddam good that octet stuff from Europe '67 was. I went looking for a decent recording of it, and all I'm coming up on are semi-legit, way out of print and pricey discs of questionable origin. The movie soundtrack, I understand, has abridged versions and dialogue (yuck), so what's the best way to get the stuff from this (or any date on this) tour?

If Assholes Could Fly This Place Would Be An Airport, Thursday, 1 March 2012 03:50 (six years ago) Permalink

i've got the rotterdam 67 show, which is good, but yes, of questionable origin. not amazing sound quality, but i think it's a radio broadcast. i wouldn't feel bad about downloading it by nefarious means.

tylerw, Thursday, 1 March 2012 04:26 (six years ago) Permalink

Thanks Tyler. Hard to believe no one's thought to do a box set of these gigs, Dick's Picks style. Would buy that in a second. The live stuff from the film is so great.

If Assholes Could Fly This Place Would Be An Airport, Thursday, 1 March 2012 16:08 (six years ago) Permalink

Yeah it is weird that the soundtrack is the only real place to get that octet stuff. it is a cool sound. too bad that this official website seems to be dead:

tylerw, Thursday, 1 March 2012 16:10 (six years ago) Permalink

It's been a while since I've seen that -- is it a similar lineup to the Thelonious Monk "orchestra" on the Town Hall recording on Riverside?

simulation and similac (Hurting 2), Thursday, 1 March 2012 17:05 (six years ago) Permalink

Wait scratch that, Town Hall is much earlier.

simulation and similac (Hurting 2), Thursday, 1 March 2012 17:06 (six years ago) Permalink

Maybe this?

simulation and similac (Hurting 2), Thursday, 1 March 2012 17:07 (six years ago) Permalink

Yep, think I need that - thanks Hurting!

If Assholes Could Fly This Place Would Be An Airport, Thursday, 1 March 2012 19:07 (six years ago) Permalink

Thanks for the Nonet recommendation, I'm really digging it.

I really didn't like Monk's sixties output (my faves were the Blue Notes) until I realized that only on the live recordings are the musicians really capable of playing the music. Studio LPs like the Jazz Messengers LP and Brilliant Corners are marred for me since the people confronted with brand-new compositions on those dates are pretty flustered and don't quite know what to do. Just my opinion. Really loving the complete It Club on Mosaic.

Brakhage, Friday, 2 March 2012 19:57 (six years ago) Permalink

yeah listening to the paris nonet disc on spotify now -- much better sound quality than the rotterdam thing I have.
would like to hear that It Club set...

tylerw, Friday, 2 March 2012 20:08 (six years ago) Permalink

but the 60s band was so consistent! not the same personnel throughout, but almost. how could they have been flustered if they spent so much time playing monk's music in the studio and on the road?

i've been listening to the columbia albums so much for years that i've lost track of how i rate them relatively, but i would probably still put 'straight, no chaser' and 'monk's dream' as my favorites.

i do love the live albums from the same era too tho.

j., Friday, 2 March 2012 23:22 (six years ago) Permalink

Yeah that's a good point about the studio recordings -- a lot of them do come off a bit awkward. A lot of my favorite Monk is live: Live at the Blackhawk, the two Five Spot discs with Johnny Griffin, etc. Coleman Hawkins and John Coltrane do a pretty nice job with Monk compositions on Monk's Music, which might be my favorite studio record. I'm not a big fan of the later quartet with Ben Riley, but I LOVE the version of the group with Frankie Dunlop.

simulation and similac (Hurting 2), Friday, 2 March 2012 23:29 (six years ago) Permalink

Yeah, like I say just my opinion. If they work for you that's cool, Monk is always good ...

It was nice to finally figure out why the performances (not tunes) on the 60s studio LPs didn't work for me. The title track on the Corners record is like five different takes edited together since they could never get through an entire take without screwing something up.

If you watch the No Chaser doc you get a good sense of what Monk showing up in the studio with never-before-heard tunes was like. If you were a sideman, or Teo, or even Monk, the whole process looked really tense and frustrating. Just a combo of unfamiliar material and a less than communicative leader. Live, they can burn through the same tunes, since by that point they'd worked out all the kinks.

That said I don't really know why the 50s Blue Notes sound so much more competent to me. Must have had something to do with Monk's fitting into the familiar Bud Powell scene of bebop of the time, or something. Or maybe I'm just high.

Brakhage, Friday, 2 March 2012 23:35 (six years ago) Permalink

Whoops, was addressing j. there, so xpost

Brakhage, Friday, 2 March 2012 23:36 (six years ago) Permalink

the older records do sound more... competent isn't the word i'd choose, but yeah, something like, fluent in the way that one expects jazz records from that time to sound. but they also sound less monklike overall to me. not settled into the 'if you're swinging, swing some more' chug chug kind of thing.

i can say, though, that not all the columbia lps are as attractive for me. on the other hand, since by that point everyone in the band is kind of playing in monk's idiom, all the records kind of sound similar to me so i overlook possible defects in some in favor of the ones i like more.

j., Friday, 2 March 2012 23:42 (six years ago) Permalink

them earliest records sure do make a pretty sound when you're driving north from Rockford and you have a full cup of gas station coffee and the snow is just starting to fall

Display Name (this cannot be changed):, Saturday, 3 March 2012 00:38 (six years ago) Permalink

fuckin hate this thread title

adam, Saturday, 3 March 2012 03:10 (six years ago) Permalink


j., Saturday, 3 March 2012 03:49 (six years ago) Permalink

The title track on the Corners record is like five different takes edited together since they could never get through an entire take without screwing something up.

That album was actually recorded in 1957, with Sonny Rollins, Max Roach, Oscar Pettiford and others. It was a particularly complicated composition, which is likely part of the reason it was compiled from a number of different takes. As Bill Dixon used to say, "What difference does it make as long as you get the sound you want?"

I think Christgau has said it's his all-time favorite album by anyone.

Tarfumes The Escape Goat, Saturday, 3 March 2012 03:57 (six years ago) Permalink

there are two Monk releases titled Misterioso. the live one (i think from '57) is the one X'gau called his fave all-time album

epigram addict (outdoor_miner), Saturday, 3 March 2012 16:06 (six years ago) Permalink

The one with the de Chirico cover? Nice, will track down

Brakhage, Monday, 5 March 2012 17:32 (six years ago) Permalink

Yeah that's one of the two live at the five spot albums, with Johnny Griffin, Roy Haynes and the scarcely recorded Ahmed Abdul-Malik. They're incredible.

simulation and similac (Hurting 2), Monday, 5 March 2012 17:35 (six years ago) Permalink

This is the Christgau writeup on the recent biography

Brakhage, Monday, 5 March 2012 18:06 (six years ago) Permalink

I really didn't like Monk's sixties output (my faves were the Blue Notes) until I realized that only on the live recordings are the musicians really capable of playing the music.

Most of the tracks on the '60s Columbia studio LPs were not new compositions though so the musicians would have had plenty of time to learn them.

o. nate, Monday, 5 March 2012 19:07 (six years ago) Permalink

yeah, one interesting thing is that monk was really not a very prolific writer -- i think he only has like 50-something originals? Maybe more than that, but not a ton compared to a lot of the big jazz writers.

tylerw, Monday, 5 March 2012 19:10 (six years ago) Permalink

FWIW, in both Blues People and Black Music by Leroi Jones / Amiri Baraka, he spells his name without the 'o.' I know it's wrong, but, common mistake?

If Assholes Could Fly This Place Would Be An Airport, Wednesday, 7 March 2012 22:15 (six years ago) Permalink

Jake Brown, Thursday, 8 March 2012 02:30 (six years ago) Permalink

Did that work?

Jake Brown, Thursday, 8 March 2012 02:31 (six years ago) Permalink

the scarcely recorded Ahmed Abdul-Malik
just found one of this dude's own albums over yonder:

tylerw, Monday, 12 March 2012 16:01 (six years ago) Permalink

four months pass...

I've ragged on the Rouse/Riley quartet a lot, but I recently discovered It's Monk's Time, which in spite of having the slight dragginess of that group, has several awesome tunes that I don't think (?) Monk recorded on other records -- Shuffle Boil, Stuffy Turkey, Lulu's Back in Town and Brake's Sake

Will Chave (Hurting 2), Monday, 30 July 2012 19:49 (six years ago) Permalink

was listening to a few of those Columbia Monk records over the weekend while finishing reading Thelonious Monk: The Life and Times of an American Original. Def recommend the book and the more i hear those early/mid-60's monk records the more i get into what seems at that point to be Monk in laidback mode and i think i'm noticing his stride style became more pronounced than say his beautiful cascading whole note downward runs that he was famous for earlier in his career

making plans for nyquil (outdoor_miner), Monday, 30 July 2012 21:05 (six years ago) Permalink

I don't have a particular probelm with Monk's playing on those records, I just think the band sounds kinda sad. Ben Riley is a boring drummer, and Charlie Rouse has that whiny intonation and plays the same licks again and again.

Will Chave (Hurting 2), Monday, 30 July 2012 21:09 (six years ago) Permalink

been listening to Alone In San Francisco a ton lately. i think solo monk is my favorite monk.

tylerw, Monday, 30 July 2012 21:24 (six years ago) Permalink

me too. dislike rouse.

the trio stuff on The Unique is really good too

If Assholes Could Fly This Place Would Be An Airport, Monday, 30 July 2012 21:28 (six years ago) Permalink

yeah, was listening to that one too! there are some of those 60s columbia records that sound fine to me, but they really are a step down from the 50s.

tylerw, Monday, 30 July 2012 21:30 (six years ago) Permalink

three months pass...

That Kelley book is exhaustive and well researched and is pretty much indispensable as the final word on Monk but dear God could it have used an editor.

Anyone read the Pannonica bio?

If Assholes Could Fly This Place Would Be An Airport, Monday, 5 November 2012 05:41 (six years ago) Permalink

Just been listening to Blue Monk and marvelling at how Gods used to take the same taxi cabs and breath the same oxygen supply as us. Well, obviously not in England but you know what I am talking about.

Damo Suzuki's Parrot, Monday, 5 November 2012 23:17 (six years ago) Permalink

Thread title reminds me of a live Clifford Brown set where he introduces "'Round Midnight" by calling Monk "TheOlonious."

5-Hour Enmity (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Monday, 5 November 2012 23:45 (six years ago) Permalink

Gods used to take different taxicabs and breathe different oxygen from regular people in England?

Knut Horowitz, Able-Bodied Investment Banker and Ladies Man (Hurting 2), Monday, 5 November 2012 23:56 (six years ago) Permalink

You cannot juxtapose people like Monk to places like Dewsbury or Huddersfield and yeah he is a God!

Damo Suzuki's Parrot, Tuesday, 6 November 2012 00:08 (six years ago) Permalink

three months pass...

Was reminded of this thread's title when I saw this:

Tarfumes The Escape Goat, Thursday, 7 February 2013 17:55 (six years ago) Permalink

and leave it to Phil Schaap:

There is a birth record in Rocky Mount, North Carolina. Monk’s first name is spelled quite differently. I have not seen this document but I have seen different spellings of his given name that cite it. I most trust John Chilton who states in print that this document says “Thellous Junior Monk.”

I further believe Monk, himself, who informs us that his father was Thelonious and that our Monk is, indeed, a Junior. The drumming son is the third (III). I don’t have total faith that “Sphere” was always in place as a family {middle for our Monk} name. Still, Junior as a middle name for a Junior seems unlikely. I would hazard a guess that our Monk’s name at birth was Thelonious Monk, Junior. Limited literacy and racism are likely to have contributed to a flawed birth record.

As to the street. The street sign has recently appeared with a misspelling: “T-h-e-l-o-n-i-u-s”. This was not always so. I was at the street naming and for many years it appeared correctly as “Thelonious Sphere Monk Circle.” It has become one of the more often stolen NYC official signs and a replacement eventually carried the misspelling of his given name.

Tarfumes The Escape Goat, Thursday, 7 February 2013 18:00 (six years ago) Permalink

nine months pass...

NPR is streaming a soon-to-be-released Paris 1969 show.

Brad C., Monday, 18 November 2013 17:03 (five years ago) Permalink

Huh, interesting rhythm section - they push a lot more than Ben Riley/Larry Gales. Never heard of them before.

i wish i had a skateboard i could skate away on (Hurting 2), Monday, 18 November 2013 17:12 (five years ago) Permalink

I got that CD/DVD in the mail this weekend. The CD is great - the track listing has been shuffled, though, to put the piece with Philly Joe Jones guesting all the way at the end. On the DVD, which reproduces the original TV broadcast, it comes in the middle. (My DVD player is broken, so I haven't watched it yet.)

Humorist (horse) (誤訳侮辱), Monday, 18 November 2013 18:12 (five years ago) Permalink

fuckin hate this thread title

― adam, Saturday, March 3, 2012 3:10 AM (1 year ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

otm. mods pls delete/rename thread thx!!!

adam, Monday, 18 November 2013 20:28 (five years ago) Permalink

one year passes...

There was a nice little half hour Radio 4 Great Lives episode on Monk earlier, you yanks will probs need ex-pat to hear it on beeb i-player. There was some stuff on it that was revelatory to me. The Rothschild heir who booked the Albert Hall for weeks for him, only for him not to get a work visa. That he often couldn't even gig for years because of a revoked cabaret card due to minor drug offences. Miles couldn't play with him because they would argue hard.

xelab, Tuesday, 15 September 2015 19:34 (three years ago) Permalink

It can be downloaded from this page:

as verbose and purple as a Peter Ustinov made of plums (James Morrison), Wednesday, 16 September 2015 05:53 (three years ago) Permalink

Hilarious. The headline on that story spells it "Thelonius."

Jazzbo, Wednesday, 16 September 2015 14:16 (three years ago) Permalink

I think Monk would have seen the funny side but very fucking shoddy from the beeb.

xelab, Wednesday, 16 September 2015 14:34 (three years ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...

it club

is it

j., Sunday, 4 October 2015 18:53 (three years ago) Permalink

I thought it was Theolonious. But never mind, I never typed that anywhere, apart from just now.

Mark G, Monday, 5 October 2015 12:35 (three years ago) Permalink
this is a superb Monk documentary, I was just browsing but ended up watching it all.

xelab, Sunday, 18 October 2015 16:04 (three years ago) Permalink

Thought this was belated birthday revive. But yeah, doc is good.

Raz Turned Blue (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 18 October 2015 16:05 (three years ago) Permalink

Happy birthday TheloniOus!

xelab, Sunday, 18 October 2015 16:12 (three years ago) Permalink

three months pass...

I couldn't do any of my rudiments.

j., Tuesday, 19 January 2016 18:01 (three years ago) Permalink

two years pass...
This latest Gregory Lewis album with Marc Ribot on guitar and Jeremy Bean Clemons on drums features some of the funkiest b3 organ since Jimmy Smith, it's rather good.

calzino, Saturday, 10 February 2018 11:26 (one year ago) Permalink

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