After John Coltrane’s Both Directions At Once surfaced earlier this year, lost albums by the upper echelon of deceased jazz artists seem to just be coming out of the woodwork. Here’s a (for reasons unknown) never before released 41 minute session recorded live in Copenhagen in 1963 by the High Priest of Bebop, the great Thelonious Monk, with what is generally considered to be his most beloved quartet: John Ore on bass, Frankie Dunlop on drums and Charlie Rouse on tenor. There’s something about a live jazz recording, with just the right amount of applause and crowd ambiance, it reminds you that this was a singular event unfolding in real time with no producer and no overdubs; it lends a certain atmosphere and urgency that you just don’t get from a studio album. Four musicians at the top of their game playing a considered mix of standards (“Body And Soul,” “I’m Getting Sentimental Over You”) and Monk favorites (“Monk’s Dream,” “Nutty,” “Bye-Ya”), forces us to ponder the question offered up by the label: “Without a widely agreed must-have Monk release, could this fill the void as the Monk everyone should own?” Listen for yourself, but the simplest answer tends to be the right one. Indie exclusive MONO pressing on clear vinyl (If you ever see a jazz record pressed on wax that isn’t either black or clear, stay away) restored from the original lost tapes, mastered and cut using Gearbox’s entirely analogue process and blessed by the Monk estate. Recommended.
- lost album from Thelonious Monk available for the first time ever
- indie-exclusive clear vinyl edition
- includes printed insert with liner notes by Stephen Graham, Ethan Iverson + Darrel Sheinman
- limited to 500 copies
- music label: Gearbox 2018
reviewed by nick nightingale 10/2018