Nutty

Thelonious Monk

Monk and his 1962 quartet play one
of his most swinging tunes

Thelonious Monk’s centennial was well celebrated throughout 2017 but, even with all of the tributes, no one can quite imitate the unique pianist and composer.

When Monk first arrived on the jazz scene in the mid-1940s, his music was considered too complex to perform even by the beboppers, and his piano style was largely written-off because it was too unusual and did not sound like Bud Powell’s.

A decade later, in 1957 when he used John Coltrane in his quartet, suddenly Monk was discovered and called a genius by many.

It was ironic, considering his beginnings, that Thelonious Monk was one of the most popular and famous of all jazz musicians in the 1960s, and that his influence and fame has continued to grow since his 1982 death.

This version of Monk’s “Nutty,” a swinging number, was performed on Mar. 14, 1965 in London, featuring tenor-saxophonist Charlie Rouse.

Personnel:

Thelonious Monk, piano
Charlie Rouse, tenor
Larry Gales, bass
Ben Riley, drums

-Scott Yanow