More indispensable recordings from the indelible Thelonious Monk. Genius Of Modern Music Volume Two continues Blue Note's focus on sessions where Monk was coming into his own as a leader. The collection is a mix of standards and original compositions from the pianist. From the opening of Monk's obtuse take on the 1920s standard "Carolina Moon" you get a good taste of what you're in for. The highlight for many will be the classic rendition of "Straight No Chaser," however there is much more to dig into. Especially intriguing is an upbeat cover of Gershwin's "Nice Work (If You Can Get It)." Musicians from the sessions include, young trumpeter Kenny Dorham and bassist Al McKibbon, Art Blakey and (replacing Blakey on half of the program) Max Roach, along with saxophonist Sahib Shihab.
- music label: Blue Note 1956 / 2015