Sunday, 30 August 2009

Thelonious Monk ”Brilliant Corners”

Thelonious Monk

Brilliant Corners
( LP Riverside Records, 1956-1957 )
Catalog # RLP 12-226

1.Brilliant Corners
2.Ba-Lue Bolivar Ba-Lues-Are
4.I Surrender, Dear
5.Bemsha Swing

Personnel as on tracks & Notes:
Ernie Henry (as)
Sonny Rollins (ts)
Thelonious Monk (p)
Oscar Pettiford (b)
Max Roach (d)
NYC, October 9, 1956
Ba-Lue Bolivar Ba-Lues-Are
Ernie Henry (as -1)
Sonny Rollins (ts -1)
Thelonious Monk (p)
Oscar Pettiford (b -1) Max Roach (d -1)
NYC, October 15, 1956
1. Brilliant Corners
2. I Surrender, Dear
Clark Terry (tp)
Paul Chambers (b) replaces Henry, Pettiford
NYC, December 7, 1956
Bemsha Swing

Also issued on Riverside RLP 1174;
Fantasy OJC 026, OJCCD 026-2
Riverside RS 3000 entitled “Mighty Monk”

1991 CD Riverside/OJC OJCCD-026-2
1991 LP Riverside/OJC OJC-026
1991 CS Riverside/OJC OJC-5026
1991 CS Riverside/OJC 26
1995 LP Riverside/OJC 26
CD Riverside/OJC 26
1991 CD Riverside/OJC 26
2001 CD Riverside 226
2004 CD Riverside 226
1991 CD Original Jazz Classics 26
1991 CS Original Jazz Classics 26
2006 CD JVC Victor 41618
1999 CD Original Jazz Classics 200262
1995 CD Original Jazz Classics 0262
2003 CD JVC Japan 2085
2005 CD JVC Japan 41225
2008 CD Universal Japan UCCO9220

Although Brilliant Corners is Thelonious Monk’s third disc for Riverside, it’s the first on the label to weigh in with such heavy original material. Enthusiasts who become jaded to the idiosyncratic nature of Monk’s playing or his practically arithmetical chord progressions should occasionally revisit Brilliant Corners. There is an inescapable freshness and vitality saturated into every measure of every song. The passage of time makes it all the more difficult to imagine any other musicians bearing the capacity to support Monk with such ironic precision. The assembled quartet for the lion’s share of the sessions included Max Roach (percussion), Sonny Rollins (tenor sax), Oscar Pettiford (bass), and Ernie Henry (alto sax). Although a compromise, the selection of Miles Davis’ bassist, Paul Chambers, and Clark Terry (trumpet) on “Bemsha Swing” reveals what might be considered an accident of ecstasy, as they provide a timeless balance between support and being able to further the cause musically. Likewise, Roach’s timpani interjections supply an off-balanced sonic surrealism while progressing the rhythm in and out of the holes provided by Monk’s jackrabbit leads. It’s easy to write Monk’s ferocity and Forrest Gump-esque ingenuity off as gimmick or quirkiness. What cannot be dismissed is Monk’s ability to translate emotions into the language of music, as in the freedom and abandon he allows through Sonny Rollins’ and Max Roach’s mesmerizing solos in “Brilliant Corners.” The childlike innocence evoked by Monk’s incorporation of the celeste during the achingly beautiful ode “Pannonica” raises the emotional bar several degrees. Perhaps more pointed, however, is the impassioned “I Surrender, Dear” — the only solo performance on the album. Brilliant Corners may well be considered the alpha and omega of post-World War II American jazz. No serious jazz collection should be without it.
By Lindsay Planer (AMG)

By Pier

1 comment:

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