Nutty – 1969

Thelonious Monk

A hot version with Philly Joe Jones

The brilliant and innovative pianist-composer Thelonious Monk had Charlie Rouse as the tenor-saxophonist in his quartet for ten years, his most prosperous period.

On Dec. 15, 1969, during one of Rouse’s last tours with Monk, the music at their Paris concert was recorded and released decades later by Blue Note; fortunately some of the concert was also filmed.

On “Nutty,” the great drummer Philly Joe Jones sat in, taking the place of Paris Wright while Nate Hygelund remained on bass.

While Jones and Monk had appeared on a couple of record dates in 1958, the drummer had never performed with the pianist’s quartet before.

Jones’ playing clearly lights a fire under Monk on a faster-than-usual performance of the song.

After Rouse has a fine spot, Monk really cooks, sounding inspired by Jones’ presence.

Philly Joe Jones takes one of his best filmed solos; one can hear the melody of “Nutty” in much of his playing.

Their exciting version of “Nutty” concludes at an even faster pace than its first part.

-Scott Yanow


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