Well, You Needn't
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"Well, You Needn't" is a jazz standard composed by Thelonious Monk in 1944. According to Robin Kelley in his seminal biography Thelonious Monk: the Life and Times of an American Original, the title was inspired by a protégé of Monk's, the jazz singer Charlie Beamon: Monk wrote a song and told Beamon he was going to name it after him, to which Beamon apparently replied "Well, you need not".
Like another Monk standard, "Epistrophy," the song is notable for a chord sequence in which the root note moves by semitones. There is some disagreement about the chord progression and melody in the bridge. On many club dates and jam sessions, musicians play the bridge of the tune as it was transcribed in the original Real Book:
- G7 | G7 | A♭7 | A♭7 | A7 B♭7 | B7 B♭7 | A7 A♭7 | G7 C7 |
This is how Miles Davis recorded the tune on his album Steamin' with The Miles Davis Quintet. The wide proliferation of the Real Book makes this progression the de facto standard for the bridge. The "New Real Book" shows alternate bridge chords:
- D♭9 | D♭9 | D9 | D9 | E♭9 E9 | E♭9 D9 | D♭9 C9 | B9 C7 |
This is the progression played by Monk himself.
Mike Ferro wrote lyrics for the song in the 1970s, sometimes recorded under the title "It's Over Now".
The song was later used in the 1990s NES video game The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle and Friends.
- 1952: Genius of Modern Music: Volume 1 by Thelonious Monk
- 1954: Miles Davis, Volume 3 by Miles Davis
- 1956: Steamin' with The Miles Davis Quintet by Miles Davis
- 1957: Taylor's Wailers by Arthur Taylor
- 1957: Monk's Music by Thelonious Monk
- 1958: Branching Out by Nat Adderley
- 1962: Chet Is Back! by Chet Baker
- 1964: Live at the It Club by Thelonious Monk
- 1963: West Coast Vibes by Roy Ayers
- 1975: Sum of the Parts by Larry Ridley
- 1979: Tribute by Marvin Peterson
- 1981: Lounge Lizards by The Lounge Lizards
- 1981: Quartet by Herbie Hancock
- 1989: Portraits of Thelonious Monk: Well You Needn't by Randy Weston
- 2005: Tricycles by Larry Coryell
- 2010: Devil May Care by Jamie Cullum
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