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Song by Thelonious Monk
Published 1957
Genre Jazz

"Rhythm-a-Ning" is a jazz composition by pianist Thelonious Monk.[1][2][3]


First appearing on the 1957 recording Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers with Thelonious Monk, the piece has since appeared on dozens of Monk's releases, as well as being covered by musicians such as Dexter Gordon, Kenny Barron, and Chick Corea.

The tune is based on the rhythm changes. The A section is based on a Mary Lou Williams riff from her arrangement of Walking and Swinging (with Andy Kirk, 1936)[4][5]. Monk and Williams were close friends.

Jon Hendricks added lyrics to the tune, retitling it Listen to Monk[4].

The composition also lent its name to a 1985 book by Gary Giddins.


  1. ^ "Rhythm-A-Ning Composed by Thelonious Monk". allmusic.com. Allmusic. Retrieved 21 November 2016. 
  2. ^ "Thelonious Monk - Rhythm-a-ning". pastemagazine.com. Retrieved 21 November 2016. 
  3. ^ "Rhythm-A-Ning". learnjazzstandards.com. Retrieved 21 November 2016. 
  4. ^ a b "Rhythm-a-ning". theloniousspheremonk.weebly.com. Retrieved 8 February 2018. 
  5. ^ "Mary Lou Williams played piano with spiritual style". aaregistry.org. Retrieved 8 February 2018.