Thelonious Monk Quartet Live in Brussels (Part I)

Sonuma Archives 1963

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Cast Program notes Appears in More info


Thelonious Monk — Bandleader, pianist
Charlie Rouse — Saxophonist
John Ore — Double bassist
Frankie Dunlop — Drummer
Serge Leroy — Movie director

Program notes

This beautiful archive concert demonstrates how Thelonious Monk was a true outlier, even in the jazz world. While eccentricity can occasionally be confused for genius, for Monk the two meant the same thing. Indeed, it sometimes felt that his quirks – the erect posture, the private, on-stage dancing during his bandmates solos – were all people talked about. The year after this concert he appeared on the cover of TIME Magazine and the article focused more on his perceived strangeness than the notes he played. 

Yet Monk only ever cared about the music, he just heard it differently to the others. A true deconstructionist, he broke codes and rearranged the piano universe through dissonance, subversion and the search for crystalline beauty in unusual angular geometry that most pianists would avoid at all costs. His art was similar to Picasso's – ungraspable, free, unresolved – yet truer to reality as a result. Together with his quartet in 1963, Monk delivered classics from his repertoire like “Criss Cross” and “Monk’s Dream,” with Frankie Dunlop offering a lengthy drum solo.

Appears in

More info

Venue: Palais des Beaux-Arts, Salle Henry Le Boeuf (Brussels, Belgium)
Production date: 1963
Recording date: 1963
Duration: 25 min
Production: © Sonuma
Resolution: Full HD