The 1st complete biography of mythical jazz musician Thelonious Monk, written via a super historian, with complete entry to the family's documents and with dozens of interviews.
Thelonious Monk is the severely acclaimed, gripping saga of an artist’s fight to “make it” with out compromising his musical imaginative and prescient. it's a tale that, like its topic, displays the tidal ebbs and flows of yank historical past within the 20th century. To his fanatics, he was once the last word hipster; to his detractors, he used to be temperamental, eccentric, taciturn, or childlike. His angular melodies and dissonant harmonies shook the jazz global to its foundations, ushering within the start of “bebop” and setting up Monk as one in every of America’s maximum composers. Elegantly written and wealthy with humor and pathos, Thelonious Monk is the definitive paintings on glossy jazz’s most unusual composer.
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Additional info for Thelonious Monk: The Life and Times of an American Original
For 3 younger males with a bit funds of their wallet, there have been many affordable entertainments in ny urban through the melancholy. Twenty or thirty cents obtained a film price tag on the Loews on seventh road and 124th, or the Proctor or the Orient alongside a hundred and twenty fifth road. The comedy duo greenback and Bubbles played on the Mt. Morris Theater, and the Odeon had either videos and reside acts. while Thelonious may perhaps swing it, he shelled out thirty-five to fifty cents to work out a number of the enormous bands on the Apollo, the Lafayette, or the Harlem Opera House—led via Earl Hines, Jimmie Lunceford, and Don Redman, between others. it's very most probably that he went to work out Willie Lewis’s band on the Lafayette in March of 1934. seventy one Billed because the “year’s maximum musical sensation,” the Lewis band was once on its approach to Europe for a longer engagement starting the next month. a few of the buzz surrounding this band needed to do with its sensational new pianist, Herman Chittison. Chittison was once one in all Monk’s favourite pianists, as Monk later said. seventy two good-looking, artful, 9 years Monk’s senior, the Kentucky-born pianist, like Monk, were brought to song via hymns. At 4 years previous, he have been in a position to play “Trust and Obey,” and he usually performed piano at his family’s church. At Kentucky country business university for coloured folks (1925–26), he grew to become the pianist and director of the college orchestra. years later he hit the line with Zack Whyte and His Chocolate Beau Brummels and went directly to paintings with Stepin Fetchit and Willie Lewis. seventy three Chittison tended to play loads of notes and possessed a demonic skill to play speedy; Monk tended to play fewer notes and most popular medium tempos. yet Chittison’s effect is audible in recordings by means of the younger Monk. either enjoyed descending runs, and “fills” (punctuation issues on the ends of words in a track) that have been intentionally bumpy. Chittison had a powerful and energetic left hand, which he used to create little counter-melodies. and prefer Monk, whilst Chittison subsidized a soloist—including a singer—he was once by no means content material to easily feed him (or her) chords within the history. He tended to be terribly busy, filling in each plausible area to the purpose of competing with the soloist. seventy four Chittison possessed a robust melodic feel. His improvisations maintained a great connection to every music, and he may perhaps rather swing! enjoying on the Apollo used to be interesting, yet Monk’s trio’s most vital gigs have been the Friday evening dances on the neighborhood middle. The trio wasn’t paid a lot, yet they'd a great time and regularly obtained an enthusiastic reaction. occasionally they performed for the fledgling faucet dancers and singers locally. Thelonious, who used to be himself somewhat a hoofer, loved taking part in for faucet dancers. one of many younger dancers they subsidized up was once Trotyrine Wilson, “Rita” to her acquaintances. Born in South Carolina, she lived on the southern finish of San Juan Hill, on West fifty fifth road. She was once Alberta Webb’s occasional dance companion, and so they usually rehearsed their workouts on the middle.