Thelonious Monk with John Coltrane (Full Album)

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Thelonious Monk with John Coltrane is a 1961 album by Thelonious Monk issued on Jazzland Records, a subsidiary of Riverside Records. It consists of material recorded four years earlier when Monk worked extensively with John Coltrane, issued after Coltrane had become a leader and jazz star in his own right.

The album was assembled by the label with material from three different sessions. The impetus for the album was the discovery of three usable studio tracks recorded by the Monk Quartet with Coltrane in July 1957 at the beginning of the band’s six-month residency at New York’s legendary Five Spot club near Cooper Square. To round out the release, producer Keepnews included two outtakes from the Monk’s Music album recorded the previous month, and an additional outtake from Thelonious Himself recorded in April. The latter selection, “Functional,” is a solo piano piece by Monk.

It was reissued in 2000 on Fantasy Records as part of its series for back catalogue using the JVC 20-bit K2 coding system. Because of the historical significance of this album it was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2007 (Wikipedia).

AllMusic Review by Michael G. Nastos:
Universally regarded as one of the greatest collaborations between the two most influential musicians in modern jazz (Miles Davis notwithstanding), the Jazzland sessions from Thelonious Monk and John Coltrane should be recognized on other levels. While the mastery of the principals is beyond reproach, credit should also be given to peerless bassist Wilbur Ware, as mighty an anchor as anyone could want. These 1957 dates also sport a variety in drummerless trio, quartet, septet, or solo piano settings, all emphasizing the compelling and quirky compositions of Monk. A shouted-out, pronounced “Off Minor” and robust, three-minute “Epistrophy” with legendary saxophonists Coleman Hawkins, Gigi Gryce, and the brilliant, underappreciated trumpeter Ray Copeland are hallmark tracks that every jazz fan should revere. Of the four quartet sessions, the fleet “Trinkle Tinkle” tests Coltrane’s mettle, as he’s perfectly matched alongside Monk, but conversely unforced during “Nutty” before taking off. Monk’s solo piano effort, “Functional,” is flavored with blues, stride, and boogie-woogie, while a bonus track, “Monk’s Mood,” has a Monk-Ware-Coltrane tandem (minus drummer Shadow Wilson) back for an eight-minute excursion primarily with Monk in a long intro, ‘Trane in late, and Ware’s bass accents booming through the studio. This will always be an essential item standing proudly among unearthed live sessions from Monk and Coltrane, demarcating a pivotal point during the most significant year in all types of music, from a technical and creative standpoint, but especially the jazz of the immediate future (

Track listing:
All selections by Thelonious Monk except as indicated.

Side one
“Ruby, My Dear” — 6:17
“Trinkle, Tinkle” — 6:37
“Off Minor” — 5:10
Side two
“Nutty” — 6:35
“Epistrophy” (Kenny Clarke, Monk) — 3:07
“Functional” — 9:46

Thelonious Monk — piano
John Coltrane — tenor saxophone
Ray Copeland — trumpet on “Off Minor” and “Epistrophy”
Gigi Gryce — alto saxophone on “Off Minor” and “Epistrophy”
Coleman Hawkins — tenor saxophone on “Off Minor” and “Epistrophy”
Wilbur Ware — bass
Shadow Wilson — drums on “Ruby, My Dear”, “Trinkle, Tinkle” and “Nutty”
Art Blakey — drums on “Off Minor” and “Epistrophy”

Released: Early October 1961
Recorded: April 12, 1957
June 26, 1957
July, 1957
Length: 37:37
Label: Jazzland
Producer: Orrin Keepnews


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