Sunday, 30 August 2009

Thelonious Monk ”Underground”

Thelonious Monk

( LP CBS/Columbia Records, 1968 )
Catalog # CS 9632 & 460066 1
( Plus Bonus Tracks )

1 Thelonious (Take 1) (3:17)
2 Ugly Beauty (Take 5) (10:45)
3 Raise Four (7:00)
4 Boo Boo’s Birthday (Take 11) (5:56)
5 Easy Street (7:50)
Written By – Alan Rankin Jones
6 Green Chimneys (13:10)
7 In Walked Bud (6:48)
8 Ugly Beauty (Take 4) (7:37)
9 Boo Boo’s Birthday (Take 2) (5:34)
10 Thelonious (Take 3) (3:10)

Personnel & Credits:
Bass – Larry Gales
Drums – Ben Riley
Mastered By – Mark Wilder
Mastered By [Assistant] – Seth Foster
Piano – Thelonious Monk
Producer – Teo Macero
Reissue Producer – Orrin Keepnews
Saxophone [Tenor] – Charlie Rouse (tracks: 2, 4, 6, 8, 9)
Vocals – Jon Hendricks (tracks: 7)
Written By – Thelonious Monk (tracks: 1 to 4, 6 to 10)

Tracks 2, 6, and 8 recorded on December 14, 1967, 4 and 9 on December 21, 1967, and 1, 3, 5, 7, and 10 on February 14, 1968.
Mastered at Sony Music Studios, NYC.
Tracks 8 to 10 are bonus tracks, not on original LP.
Tracks 8 and 9 are previously unreleased.
“The reissue presents, in sequence, the seven selections that appeared on the original LP, followed by three alternates. Take numbers identify each version of the duplicated selections. However, as initially released, only two of the seven pieces were heard in full as they had been recorded. All but ‘Thelonious’ and ‘Boo Boo’s Birthday’ were either briefly trimmed or severly edited — possibly in order to include a version of each recorded number despite the time limitations of the LP form . . . One specific intention of this reissue disc is to present the material basically as Monk played it in the studio. (Another act of restoration is not to turn off Hendricks’ track when he finishes his scat chorus, thus preserving his spontaneous bursts of enthusiasm throughout ‘In Walked Bud.’)”
Master numbers:
Tracks 1 & 10 — CO 92972
Tracks 2 & 8 — CO 98161
Track 3 — CO 92971
Tracks 4 & 9 — CO 98171
Track 5 — CO 92969
Track 6 — CO 98162
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album
Country: US
Released: 1968

This release has long been considered Thelonious Monk’s acknowledgement to the flourishing youth-oriented subculture from whence the collection takes its name. Certainly the Grammy-winning cover art — which depicts Monk as a World War II French revolutionary toting an automatic weapon — gave the establishment more than the brilliant swinging sounds in the grooves to consider. Underground became Monk’s penultimate studio album, as well as the final release to feature the ’60s quartet: Charlie Rouse (tenor sax), Ben Riley (drums), and Larry Gales (bass) behind Monk (piano). One of the motifs running throughout Monk’s recording career is the revisitation of titles from his voluminous back catalog. The tradition continues with the autobiographical leadoff track, “Thelonious.” The instantly recognizable stride piano lines are delivered with the same urgency and precision that they possessed over two decades earlier when he first recorded the track for Blue Note. The presence of Charlie Rouse throughout the album is certainly worth noting. “Ugly Beauty” best captures the sacred space and musical rapport that he and Monk shared. Each musician functions as an extension of the other, creating solos that weave synchronically as if performed by the same pair of hands. Newer material, such as the playful “Green Chimneys” — named after the school Monk’s daughter attended — as well as the unbalanced hypnotism of “Raise Four,” asserts the timelessness and relevance of Monk’s brand of bop. The disc ends as it begins with a new twist on an old favorite. Jon Hendricks — who provides lyrics and vocals on “In Walked Bud” — recalls the hustle and bustle of the real and spontaneous underground Harlem jam sessions of the late ’40s. It is likewise an apt bookend to this chapter in the professional life of Thelonious Monk.
By Lindsay Planer (AMG)

By Pier

1 comment:

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