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Thelonious Monk: Straight, No Chaser

Album Reviews:

Down Beat - 4.5 Stars - Very Good

JazzTimes (2/97, p.124) - "...consistent greatness..."

Album Notes

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

Recorded at Columbia Studios, New York, New York on November 14-15, 1966 and January 10, 1967. Originally released on Columbia (2651/9451). Includes liner notes by Orrin Keepnews.

This CD reissue of one of Thelonious Monk's most accessible (and commercially successful) albums differs greatly from the 1967 LP. Besides previously unavailable takes of Duke Ellington's "I Didn't Know About You," Monk's own "Green Chimneys" and the rare and exquisite piano solo "This Is My Story, This Is My Song," the CD includes previously unheard takes of three of the album's original six tracks. The time differences in these versions are substantial: the title track is lengthened by nearly a minute, the classic "We See" by 2:47 and "Japanese Folk Song (Kojo No Tsuki)" by a whopping 5:41. (For purists, Columbia reissued the original album on vinyl in 1998.) As always, the more Monk the better, but the added material is particularly welcome in this case, as STRAIGHT NO CHASER finds the pianist and his quartet partners--tenor Charlie Rouse, drummer Ben Riley and brilliant bassist Larry Gales--at the height of their considerable powers.


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