Saturday, January 28, 2012

Thelonious Monk: Brilliant Corners

"[Monk's wife] Nellie called those lean days [1951-54] the 'un-years,' mired in a kind of internal exile, when, banned from playing clubs, Monk retreated into his own head, drifting along to his own tempo. 'There was no money,' Nellie said. 'No place to go. A complete blank.' Monk described it as like 'laying dead.' Then Monk got a call from Charles Delauney inviting him to France to play at the Third Paris Jazz Festival. ... Monk was ready for Paris, but the Parisians, who had embraced so many black jazz musicians, didn’t know what to make of Monk. ... After Monk returned to New York, his career began to pick up. He signed a deal with Riverside Records and quickly recorded two of his best albums: the startling Thelonious Monk Plays the Music of Duke Ellington and Brilliant Corners with Sonny Rollins blowing a fire-breathing sax. Both records sold relatively well and earned Monk some of his best reviews" (Jeffrey St. Clair, "Out Walked Monk," Counterpunch, 12/2-4/11).
View catalog record here!