Thelonious Monk Trio

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Thelonious Monk Trio
Thelonious Monk Trio.jpg
Studio album by
Released1954
RecordedOctober 15 and December 18, 1952; September 22, 1954
Length34:55
LabelPrestige
ProducerBob Weinstock[1]
Thelonious Monk chronology
Genius of Modern Music Volume 2
(1952)
Thelonious Monk Trio
(1954)
Thelonious Monk and Sonny Rollins
(1954)

Thelonious Monk Trio is an album by American jazz pianist and composer Thelonious Monk. It was originally released in 1954 as Monk's first proper studio album and has been re-released numerous times, occasionally under the title Monk's Moods and with different track orders. Its track listing expands on the 10" mini-lp Thelonious (1953),[2] augmented with two tracks from his fourth 10" mini-lp, Thelonious Monk Plays (with Percy Heath and Art Blakey), released in 1954.[3]

The album features his earliest recordings for the Prestige label, performed with bassist Gary Mapp (originally credited as "Gerry Mapp"), either Art Blakey or Max Roach on drums, and one track with Percy Heath replacing Mapp.[4] It also contains the earliest recorded versions of the jazz standards "Blue Monk" and "Bemsha Swing".

Release history[edit]

According to Sputnikmusic writer Alex Robertson, Thelonious Monk Trio was originally released in 1954 as Monk's first proper studio album. It follows the release of his two Genius of Modern Music compilations—the first volume in 1951 and the second volume in 1952. The record has since been re-released numerous times on different formats, usually with its original title, although occasionally as Monk's Moods. On some of its re-releases, Robertson notes Thelonious Monk Trio had a track listing order different from the original, which opens with "Little Rootie Tootie". The album also features the first recorded performances of "Blue Monk" and "Bemsha Swing".[5]

Chris Sheridan, in his book Brilliant Corners: A Bio-discography of Thelonious Monk, dates the album's first 12-inch vinyl release, Thelonious Monk Trio (Prestige LP 7027), to 1956.[6] While this title is the most common in the digital age, it was also commonly available on Prestige as Monk's Moods (first released in 1960 on PRLP 7159)[7] and The High Priest (first released in 1967 on PRST 7508)[8], with alternate covers.[9]

According to Sheridan, the 1956 edition of Thelonious Monk Trio was the first Monk LP in Prestige's 7000 series of 12-inch records, followed that same year by Monk (LP 7053) and Thelonious Monk and Sonny Rollins (LP 7075).[10]

Critical reception[edit]

Retrospective professional reviews
Review scores
SourceRating
All Music Guide to Jazz5/5 stars[11]
AllMusic4.5/5 stars[12]
MSN Music (Expert Witness)A+[13]
The Penguin Guide to Jazz3.5/4 stars[14]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide5/5 stars[15]
Rolling Stone Jazz Record Guide4/5 stars[16]
Sputnikmusic4.5/5[5]

Thelonious Monk Trio received critical acclaim during the 2000s. Reviewing in All Music Guide to Jazz (2002), Scott Yanow said the album features "brilliant performances" in spite of Monk "suffering from lack of work and a complete lack of recognition from the public" at the time of the recordings.[11] Fellow AllMusic contributor Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr. called its music "intimate, intense, and inspired ... 35 minutes of professional musicians practicing their craft", and wrote that, although they were "pieced together from three different sessions," the recordings' "small settings ... allow the necessary space for Monk's explorations, which conjure up images of a mathematician working out geometric patterns on the keyboard."[12] BBC Music's Charles de Ledesma remarked that "the various personnel make little difference to the overall effect – Monk throughout offers a sumptious flow of melody, punctuation, nuance and charm."[17]

Reviewing the album's 2007 Rudy Van Gelder remaster, Chris May from All About Jazz hailed Thelonious Monk Trio as "immortal, stratospheric music" and "amongst the most eternal" of Monk's releases. "At this period like no other", May said, "Monk's rhythmic attack packed the power of an express train."[18] Sputnikmusic's Alex Robertson said that "even when Monk gets nutty, as on the brutally virtuosic 'Trinkle, Tinkle,' the album's appeal lies not in his 'sabotage' of popular music but his ability to turn it into something invigoratingly weird, two approaches often conflated when looking back on the work of an inventive musician."[5] In MSN Music, Robert Christgau said the record offers "the not so common chance to hear Monk as a solely featured soloist with a rhythm section", with drummers Art Blakey and Max Roach performing like "co-stars".[13]

Track listing[edit]

All compositions by Thelonious Monk, except where noted.

  1. "Little Rootie Tootie" - 3:06
  2. "Sweet and Lovely" (Gus Arnheim, Jules LeMare, Harry Tobias) - 3:33
  3. "Bye-Ya" - 2:46
  4. "Monk's Dream" - 3:07
  5. "Trinkle, Tinkle" - 2:49
  6. "These Foolish Things" (Harry Link, Holt Marvell, Jack Strachey) - 2:46
  7. "Blue Monk" - 7:39
  8. "Just a Gigolo" (Julius Brammer, Irving Caesar, Leonello Casucci) - 3:00
  9. "Bemsha Swing" (Thelonious Monk, Denzil Best) - 3:10
  10. "Reflections" - 2:48

Notes

Alternate version[edit]

The album has also been released with this track listing.[12]

  1. "Blue Monk" - 7:39
  2. "Just a Gigolo" (Julius Brammer, Irving Caesar, Leonello Casucci) - 3:00
  3. "Bemsha Swing" (Thelonious Monk, Denzil Best) - 3:10
  4. "Reflections" - 2:48
  5. "Little Rootie Tootie" - 3:06
  6. "Sweet and Lovely" (Gus Arnheim, Jules LeMare, Harry Tobias) - 3:33
  7. "Bye-Ya" - 2:46
  8. "Monk's Dream" - 3:07
  9. "Trinkle, Tinkle" - 2:49
  10. "These Foolish Things" (Harry Link, Holt Marvell, Jack Strachey) - 2:46

Personnel[edit]

(Track listings here refer to the version beginning with "Little Rootie Tootie.")

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Thelonious Monk Trio - Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved October 25, 2019.
  2. ^ Waring, Charles, "Standing Tall: The Thelonious Monk Prestige Recordings" www.udiscovermusic.com. Retrieved Oct 17, 2019
  3. ^ Waring, Charles, "Standing Tall: The Thelonious Monk Prestige Recordings" www.udiscovermusic.com. Retrieved Oct 17, 2019
  4. ^ "Thelonious Monk discography, prestige-prlp-7027" http://www.jazzdisco.org. Accessed 9 October 2009
  5. ^ a b c Robertson, Alex (30 July 2013). "Album Review - Thelonious Monk: Thelonious Monk Trio". Sputnikmusic. Retrieved 27 August 2013.
  6. ^ Sheridan, Chris, Brilliant Corners: A Bio-discography of Thelonious Monk, p 295, Westport and London: Greenwood Press, 2001
  7. ^ Sheridan, Chris, Brilliant Corners: A Bio-discography of Thelonious Monk, p 296, Westport and London: Greenwood Press, 2001
  8. ^ Sheridan, Chris, Brilliant Corners: A Bio-discography of Thelonious Monk, p 296, Westport and London: Greenwood Press, 2001
  9. ^ Neely, Tim, Goldmine Standard Catalog of American Records, 1950-1975, 5th Edition p. 844, Iola, Wisconsin: Krause Publications, 2006
  10. ^ Sheridan, Chris, Brilliant Corners: A Bio-discography of Thelonious Monk, p 296, Westport and London: Greenwood Press, 2001
  11. ^ a b Yanow, Scott (2002). "Thelonious Monk". In Bogdanov, Vladimir; Woodstra, Chris; Erlewine, Stephen Thomas (eds.). All Music Guide to Jazz (4th ed.). Backbeat Books. p. 893. ISBN 087930717X.
  12. ^ a b c Lankford, Jr., Ronnie D. "Thelonious Monk Trio - Thelonious Monk, Thelonious Monk Trio". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved December 21, 2012.
  13. ^ a b Christgau, Robert (December 21, 2012). "Thelonious Monk". MSN Music. Retrieved June 24, 2014.
  14. ^ Cook, Richard; Morton, Brian (2002). The Penguin Guide to Jazz on CD (6th ed.). Penguin Books. p. 1050. ISBN 0140515216.
  15. ^ Marsh, Dave (December 1979). The Rolling Stone Record Guide (1st ed.). Random House. ISBN 0394410963.
  16. ^ Swenson, J., ed. (1985). The Rolling Stone Jazz Record Guide. USA: Random House/Rolling Stone. p. 141. ISBN 0-394-72643-X.
  17. ^ de Ledesma, Charles (July 5, 2007). "Review of Thelonious Monk - Thelonious Monk Trio". BBC Music. BBC. Retrieved December 21, 2012.
  18. ^ May, Chris (July 1, 2007). "Thelonious Monk: Thelonious Monk Trio (2007)". All About Jazz. Retrieved December 21, 2012.
  19. ^ "sessionography-1952-1954", www.monkbook.com. Accessed Oct 17, 2019
  20. ^ Kelley, Robin D.G., Thelonious Monk: The Life and Times of an American Original, New York, NY: FreePress, 2009, p. 159-160, 162
  21. ^ "sessionography-1952-1954", www.monkbook.com. Accessed Oct 17, 2019
  22. ^ Kelley, Robin D.G., Thelonious Monk: The Life and Times of an American Original, New York, NY: FreePress, 2009, p. 161-162
  23. ^ "sessionography-1952-1954", www.monkbook.com. Accessed Oct 17, 2019
  24. ^ Kelley, Robin D.G., Thelonious Monk: The Life and Times of an American Original, New York, NY: FreePress, 2009, p. 179-180

External links[edit]