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Thelonious Monk: The Paris Jazz Concert Live

Album Notes

Personnel: Thelonious Monk (piano); Charlie Rouse (tenor saxophone); Larry Gales (bass); Ben Riley (drums).

Recorded live in Paris, France on November 14, 1967. Includes liner notes by Stan Britt.

At the time of this 1967 Paris concert, Monk had been playing and touring extensively with Charlie Rouse, Larry Gales and Ben Riley for several years. This recording finds them in loose and expansive form, their familiarity and comfort with each other and the material clearly evident from the opening of the wonderful descending theme of "Lulu's Back In Town." The fluent, flexible stylings of tenorman Rouse come into focus on "Sweet and Lovely" and the superb cut of "Off Minor."

Bassist Gales and drummer Riley stretch out on "I'm Getting Sentimental Over You" and "Sweet and Lovely." Monk, while no longer at the height of his dazzling ability here, still turns in an fine performance--his rhythmic subtleties, harmonic ingenuity and use of space no less surprising and seductive than ever. The only disappointment is the lack of original Monk material. With only "Off Minor" and brief signature treatments of "Crepuscule With Nellie" and "Epistrophy," the listener is treated to only a taste of the artist's compositional brilliance.


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