Don Pullen ‎– Plays Monk (Full Album)

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“Is it possible to go wrong with a Don Pullen solo piano effort? Perhaps this Japanese release is a little slapdash. While probably anyone who has ever sat at a piano dreams of doing a Thelonious Monk tribute album, the wiser ones might prefer trading places with Frodo on his quest, relishing the relative ease of their new assignment. Pullen and Monk have intensity in common, but that’s about all, still a lack of similarity isn’t what makes this effort a bit slight. It is a more a lack of substance, with only one of the Monk tunes chosen, “Trinkle Tinkle”, giving the indication that the performer is allowing himself to really be challanged by the assignment.

Two of the tracks are Pullen originals, both tributes to Monk in a generic way. “‘Round Midnight” is evidence that Pullen was not a sentimental player, perhaps not something the jury should hear when it comes to a verdict being passed. His “In Walked Bud” is better but his loose “Well, You Needn’t” best, the latter opening the album by writing a check that the pianist winds up unable to cash. While the best tracks would make for a great single, this recording winds up being as irrelevant to the Monk legend as it is to Pullen’s own extensive discography.” – Eugene Chadbourne/AllMusic .

Track listing:

00:00 Well You Needn’t Thelonious Monk
05:22 ‘Round Midnigh Thelonious Monk
13:34 Monkin’ Around (Don Pullen)
23:19 Trinkle Tinkle Thelonious Monk
29:35 Gratitude (Don Pullen)
35:17 In Walked Bud
41:11 Gratitude [Alternate Take] (Don Pullen)
46:08 In Walked Bud [Alternate Take]


Don Pullen – piano


Release: 1985
Recorded: October 11, 1984
Studio: Seltzer Sound Studio, New York, NY
Label: Paddle Wheel – K28P-6368
Country: Japan
Duration: 50:48