October 16, 2013
One of jazz’s great innovators to get forgotten 1969 Paris concert released on vinyl this November.
Famed for his enigmatic live performances (there’s an unfounded, but romantic rumour that Monk once sat down at the piano for a solo performance, played one note and left the stage), jazz pianist Thelonious Monk is to have a late career concert from Paris’ legendary Salle Pleyel released on vinyl alongside a DVD chronicling the entire performance.
Released on legendary jazz imprint Blue Note, Paris 1969 follows the discovery of Monk’s seminal spot with John Coltrane from 1957 which finally saw the light of day in 2005. An erratic genius who found his feet comping for Bird & Diz in the 40’s and redefined the boundaries for be-bop pianists with one syncopated jab of his left hand, Monk’s career soared through the 50’s culminating in a fabled run at New York’s Five Spot Cafe and what was perhaps his finest recording, Brilliant Corners.
Describing the 1969 performance which came late in Monk’s performing career, scholar Robin Kelley says “the 1969 Paris concert captures the power and the undiminished beauty of Monk’s music, reminding us that even as his body aged his musical imagination knew no limits”. Built around Monk’s long-time saxophonist Charlie Rouse, the performance also featured a guest appearance from Miles Davis drummer Philly Joe Jones.
Thelonious Monk: Paris 1969 will be released on 26th November. Click here for more info.
Check out the artwork below and watch Monk perform “Straight No Chaser” in 1965.