Blues for Duke

Thelonious Monk & Joe Turner

Berlin Jazz Festival 1969

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While the origins of this particular idea remain a mystery, I’m certainly grateful to the individual, likely associated with the festival, who conceived it.

The year was 1969, and a remarkable musical moment unfolded at the Berlin Jazz Festival. Thelonious Monk and Joe Turner took center stage, where they brought not one, but two pianos to life. Together, they delved into “Blues for Duke,” a performance that resonated with the audience and left an indelible mark on the event.

Thelonious Monk, celebrated for his pivotal role in shaping the bebop genre and his innovative, avant-garde approach to the piano, showcased another facet of his musical prowess that evening. He demonstrated his mastery of barrelhouse piano, proving that he could hold his own with the very best in the genre.

The coming together of Monk and Joe Turner for this performance was, to say the least, a captivating and intriguing pairing. Their musical synergy transcended boundaries, making it an unforgettable and unique experience for all in attendance.


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