Thelonious Monk Blue Note Sessions

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Blue Note Sessions, 1947-52
Studio album by Thelonious Monk
Released 1947-1952
Recorded 1947-1952
Genre Jazz
Label Blue Note

Jazz pianist Thelonious Monk's first sessions as a bandleader were recorded between 1947 and 1952, and released on Blue Note records as a series of 78 RPM singles. These singles were then compiled in later years—with additional performances from the sessions—into long-playing album formats. As Monk's reputation and fame grew, the sessions were recompiled again and again into more complete configurations. This article details various releases of these sessions.

Contents

The Sessions[edit]

The Blue Note recordings were made over the course of six sessions. "Versions" refers only to the number of eventually-released performances; other takes may have been recorded.

All compositions by Thelonious Monk unless otherwise noted.

Session 1: October 15, 1947[edit]

  1. "Humph"
  2. "Evonce" (Idrees Sulieman, Ike Quebec) [2 versions]
  3. "Suburban Eyes" (Ike Quebec) [2 versions]
  4. "Thelonious"

Session 2: October 24, 1947[edit]

  1. "Nice Work If You Can Get It" (George Gershwin) [2 versions]
    • Ira Gershwin wrote lyrics for this song, but these recordings are instrumental.
  2. "Ruby My Dear" [2 versions]
  3. "Well You Needn't" [2 versions]
  4. "April in Paris" (Vernon Duke) [2 versions]
    • Yip Harburg wrote lyrics for this song, but these recordings are instrumental.
  5. "Off Minor"
  6. "Introspection"

Session 3: November 21, 1947[edit]

  1. "In Walked Bud"
  2. "Monk's Mood"
  3. "Who Knows? [2 versions]"
  4. "'Round Midnight"

Session 4: July 2, 1948[edit]

  1. "Evidence"
  2. "Misterioso" [2 versions]
  3. "Epistrophy" (Monk, Kenny Clarke)
  4. "I Mean You"
  5. "All the Things You Are" (Jerome Kern, Oscar Hammerstein)
  6. "I Should Care" (Sammy Cahn, Axel Stordahl, Paul Weston) [2 versions]

Session 5: July 23, 1951[edit]

  1. "Four in One" [2 versions]
  2. "Criss Cross" [2 versions]
  3. "Eronel" (Monk, Sulieman, Sadik Hakim)
  4. "Straight, No Chaser"
  5. "Ask Me Now" [2 versions]
  6. "Willow Weep for Me" (Ann Ronnell)

Session 6: May 30, 1952[edit]

  1. "Skippy" [2 versions]
  2. "Hornin' In" [2 versions]
  3. "Sixteen" [2 versions]
  4. "Carolina Moon" (Benny Davis, Joe Burke)
  5. "Let's Cool One"
  6. "I'll Follow You" (Fred E. Ahlert)
    • Roy Turk wrote lyrics for this song, but this recording is instrumental.

Personnel[edit]

Singles[edit]

Singles released from the Blue Note sessions include the following:[1]

Blue Note 500 series (10 inch 78 rpm)[edit]

  • BN 542 "Suburban Eyes" (BN310-1) / "Thelonious" (BN311-0)
  • BN 543 "Well, You Needn't" (BN314-0) / "'Round About Midnight" (BN321-1)
  • BN 547 "Evonce" (BN309-4) / "Off Minor" (BN317-1)
  • BN 548 "In Walked Bud" (BN318-3) / "Epistrophy" (BN330-0)
  • BN 549 "Ruby, My Dear" (BN313-1) / "Evidence" (BN328-0)
  • BN 560 "Humph" (BN308-2) / "Misterioso" (BN329-0)

Blue Note 1200 series (10 inch 78 rpm)[edit]

  • BN 1201 "All the Things You Are" (BN326-3) / "I Should Care" (BN327-2)

Blue Note 1500 series (10 inch 78 rpm)[edit]

  • BN 1564 "I Mean You" (BN331-1) / "Symphonette" (BN334-1) ["Symphonette" not recorded by Monk; Tadd Dameron performance]
  • BN 1565 "Monk's Mood" (BN319-0) / "Who Knows" (BN320-0)
  • BN 1575 "Nice Work If You Can Get It" (BN312-1) / "April in Paris" (BN315-1)
  • BN 1589 "Four in One" (BN392-1) / "Straight, No Chaser" (BN395-0)
  • BN 1590 "Criss Cross" (BN393-0) / "Eronel" (BN394-0)
  • BN 1591 "Ask Me Now" (BN396-1) / "Willow Weep for Me" (BN397-0)
  • BN 1602 "Skippy" (BN434-1 tk.2) / "Let's Cool One" (BN438-0 tk.11)
  • BN 1603 "Hornin' In" (BN435-3 tk.7) / "Carolina Moon" (BN437-0 tk.10)

Blue Note 1600 series (7 inch 45 rpm)[edit]

  • BN 45-1664 "'Round About Midnight" (BN318-3) / "In Walked Bud" (BN321-1)
  • BN 45-1646 "Lillie" [Milt Jackson] (BN423-1 tk.4) / "Willow Weep for Me" (BN397-0) [credited to Milt Jackson]

1951-1952 series of 10-inch LPs[edit]

Genius of Modern Music (Blue Note LP 5002, 1951)[edit]

Side 1:

  1. 'Round Midnight (as "Round About Midnight")
  2. Off Minor
  3. Ruby, My Dear
  4. I Mean You

Side 2:

  1. Thelonious
  2. Epistrophy
  3. Well, You Needn't
  4. Misterioso

Genius of Modern Music Vol. 2 (Blue Note LP 5009, 1952)[edit]

Side 1:

  1. Four in One
  2. Who Knows?
  3. Nice Work if You Can Get It
  4. In Walked Bud

Side 2:

  1. Humph
  2. Straight, No Chaser
  3. Suburban Eyes
  4. Ask Me Now

Milt Jackson, Wizard of the Vibes (Blue Note LP 5011, 1952)[edit]

Side 1:

  1. Tahiti
  2. Lillie
  3. Criss-Cross
  4. Willow Weep for Me

Side 2:

  1. What's New?
  2. Bags' Groove
  3. On the Scene
  4. Eronel

Tracks A1-A2, B1-B3 are from an April 7, 1952 session which does not feature Thelonious Monk.

1956 Series of 12 inch LPs (monochrome photo covers)[edit]

Milt Jackson and the Thelonious Monk Quintet (Blue Note BLP-1509, 1956)[edit]

Side 1:

  1. Lillie
  2. Tahiti
  3. What's New?
  4. Bags' Groove
  5. On the Scene
  6. Willow, Weep for Me

Side 2:

  1. Criss Cross
  2. Eronel
  3. Misterioso (Alternate Master)
  4. Evidence
  5. Lillie (Alternate Master)
  6. Four in One (Alternate Master)

Tracks A1-A5, B5 are from an April 7, 1952 session which does not feature Thelonious Monk.

Genius of Modern Music Volume One (Blue Note BLP-1510, 1956)[edit]

Side 1:

  1. 'Round Midnight (as "Round About Midnight")
  2. Off Minor
  3. Ruby my Dear
  4. I Mean You
  5. April in Paris
  6. In Walked Bud

Side 2:

  1. Thelonious
  2. Epistrophy
  3. Misterioso
  4. Well You Needn't
  5. Introspection
  6. Humph

Genius of Modern Music Volume Two (Blue Note BLP-1511, 1956)[edit]

  1. Carolina Moon (Joe Burke, Benny Davis)
  2. Hornin' In
  3. Skippy
  4. Let's Cool One
  5. Suburban Eyes (Ike Quebec)
  6. Evonce (Ike Quebec, Idrees Sulieman)

Side 2:

  1. Straight, No Chaser
  2. Four in One
  3. Nice Work (If You Can Get It) (G. Gershwin, I. Gershwin)
  4. Monk's Mood
  5. Who Knows?
  6. Ask Me Now

1989 CD Recompilations[edit]

These CD releases use the cover art of the 1956 twelve inch LPs, but redistribute the performances between the volumes into a strict chronological order, with alternate takes immediately following the first-released takes.

A 2-CD set called The Complete Genius, featuring the 1956 yellow cover art, includes all of the Blue Note sessions (including July 2, 1948), ordered in a similar manner.

Genius of Modern Music Volume One (uses 1956 yellow cover)[edit]

  1. Humph
  2. Evonce (alternate take)
  3. Evonce
  4. Suburban Eyes
  5. Suburban Eyes (alternate take)
  6. Thelonious
  7. Nice Work If You Can Get It (alternate take)
  8. Nice Work If You Can Get It
  9. Ruby, My Dear (alternate take)
  10. Ruby, My Dear
  11. Well, You Needn't
  12. Well, You Needn't (alternate take)
  13. April in Paris (alternate take)
  14. April in Paris
  15. Off Minor
  16. Introspection
  17. In Walked Bud
  18. Monk's Mood
  19. Who Knows
  20. 'Round Midnight
  21. Who Knows (alternate take)

1-6 recorded Oct 15, 1947
7-16 recorded Oct 24 1947
17-21 recorded Nov 21, 1947

Milt Jackson and the Thelonious Monk Quintet (uses 1956 red cover)[edit]

  1. Tahiti
  2. Lillie
  3. Lillie
  4. Bags' Groove
  5. What's New?
  6. What's New?
  7. Don't Get Around Much Anymore
  8. Don't Get Around Much Anymore
  9. On the Scene
  10. Evidence
  11. Misterioso
  12. Misterioso
  13. Epistrophy
  14. I Mean You
  15. All the Things You Are
  16. I Should Care
  17. I Should Care

10-17 recorded July 2, 1948
1-9 are from an April 7, 1952 session which does not feature Thelonious Monk.

Genius of Modern Music Volume Two (uses 1956 red cover)[edit]

  1. Four in One
  2. Four in One (alternate take)
  3. Criss Cross
  4. Criss Cross (alternate take)
  5. Eronel
  6. Straight, No Chaser
  7. Ask Me Now (alternate take)
  8. Ask Me Now
  9. Willow Weep for Me
  10. Skippy
  11. Skippy (alternate take)
  12. Hornin' In (alternate take)
  13. Hornin' In
  14. Sixteen (first take)
  15. Sixteen (second take)
  16. Carolina Moon
  17. Let's Cool One
  18. I'll Follow You

1-9 recorded July 23, 1951
10-18 recorded May 30, 1952

2001 CD Recompilations[edit]

The sessions were recompiled, under the same title, on CD in 2001 as part of the RVG series, remastered by Rudy Van Gelder from the original session lacquers. The cover art for the original 8-song 10 inch LPs was used. While the earlier CDs grouped all takes of each title together, the recompilation put the alternate takes at the end of each session.

The July 2, 1948 session was released on Blue Note CD Milt Jackson, Wizard of the Vibes, which also used its respective 1952 10-inch LP cover art.

Genius of Modern Music Vol. 1 (2001)[edit]

  1. Humph
  2. Evonce
  3. Suburban Eyes
  4. Thelonious
  5. Evonce (alternate take)
  6. Suburban Eyes (alternate take)
  7. Nice Work If You Can Get It
  8. Ruby, My Dear
  9. Well, You Needn't
  10. April in Paris
  11. Off Minor
  12. Introspection
  13. Nice Work If You Can Get It (alternate take)
  14. Ruby, My Dear (alternate take)
  15. Well, You Needn't (alternate take)
  16. April in Paris (alternate take)
  17. In Walked Bud
  18. Monk's Mood
  19. Who Knows?
  20. 'Round Midnight
  21. Who Knows? (alternate take)

1-6 recorded Oct 15, 1947
7-16 recorded Oct 24 1947
17-21 recorded Nov 21, 1947

Milt Jackson, Wizard of the Vibes (2001)[edit]

  1. Tahiti
  2. Lillie
  3. Bags' Groove
  4. What's New
  5. Don't Get Around Much Anymore
  6. On the Scene
  7. Lillie (alternate take)
  8. What's New (alternate take)
  9. Don't Get Around Much Anymore (alternate take)
  10. Evidence
  11. Misterioso
  12. Epistrophy
  13. I Mean You
  14. Misterioso (alternate take)
  15. All the Things You Are
  16. I Should Care
  17. I Should Care (alternate take)

10-17 recorded July 2, 1948
1-9 are from an April 7, 1952 session which does not feature Thelonious Monk.

Genius of Modern Music Vol. 2 (2001)[edit]

  1. Four in One
  2. Criss Cross
  3. Eronel
  4. Straight, No Chaser
  5. Ask Me Now
  6. Willow Weep for Me
  7. Four in One (alternate take) (mislabeled as "Nice Work If You Can Get It")
  8. Criss Cross (alternate take)
  9. Ask Me Now (alternate take)
  10. Skippy
  11. Hornin' In
  12. Sixteen (second take)
  13. Carolina Moon
  14. Let's Cool One
  15. I'll Follow You
  16. Skippy (alternate take)
  17. Hornin' In (alternate take)
  18. Sixteen (first take)

1-9 recorded July 23, 1951
10-18 recorded May 30, 1952

Other Compilations in Brief[edit]

The Complete Genius (Blue Note 2 LP set, BN-LA 579-H2)[edit]

1976 compilation featuring all takes released in 1940s and 1950s.
Sessions presented in this order: 3, 1, 2, 4, 6, 5.

The Complete Blue Note Recordings of Thelonious Monk (Mosaic Records 4 LP Boxed Set, MR4-101)[edit]

Limited edition 1983 set was the first appearance of most of the alternate takes. Ordering is similar to later Blue Note (Japan) 2-CD Complete Genius.

The Complete Genius (Blue Note Japan, 2 CD set)[edit]

Similar in visual appearance and sequencing to the 1989 releases, combines Genius of Modern Music volumes 1 & 2, with the 1948 Milt Jackson section properly placed in-between. Features the yellow Volume 1 cover from 1956. This may only have been released by Blue Note Japan.

The Complete Blue Note Recordings of Thelonious Monk (Blue Note, 4 CD Boxed Set)[edit]

1994 compilation with similar cover to Mosaic LP set includes all takes from the six sessions, together with two tracks, "Reflections" and "Misterioso", recorded with Sonny Rollins on April 14, 1957, and the same five (of a total of seven) of the tracks recorded live at the Five Spot Café with John Coltrane in the late summer of 1958 that had previously been released as The Thelonious Monk Quartet featuring John Coltrane: Live at the Five Spot: Discovery!.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Covers and Liner Notes of 10" LPs: http://www.gokudo.co.jp/Record/BlueNote1/index.htm
Covers and Liner Notes of 12" LPs: http://www.gokudo.co.jp/Record/BlueNote2/index.htm