[10] Thelonious Monk – Brilliant Corners (1957)


Giu 8 2008, 21:06

Thelonious Monk - Brilliant Corners

What makes jazz jazz? Of course this is a dumb question. It’s like saying that rock music is equal to guitars. Music doesn’t have clear borders. When I asked my jazz-minded friend what jazz exactly is, she couldn’t give me a straight answer: ‘there are many kinds of jazz…’ Still, if there’s one music genre that needs a definition, it must be jazz. Either you are against it, either you love it. Why is that? What makes jazz the kind of music you love or hate? Maybe I should read ‘Jazz for dummies’.
Jazz: music with a guideline.

I asked myself this question when I was listening to I Surrender, Dear, where Thelonious plays solo on the piano. Why is this jazz music? What is the difference with classical piano music?
Oh, never mind. It is not really that interesting anyway. But still… I am intrigued ;)

About this album. It is very good. Thelonious Monk’s jazz is different than Count Basie’s and Duke Ellington’s: definitely more interesting. And sometimes a little unpredictable.

The first track Brilliant Corners I liked the best. It has a melody that comes and goes and comes… It has a lot of tempo changes. There is the alternation between the piano and the trumpets. And the drums at the end! It all fits together so well. This is definitely one brilliant song (as was apparently also his own opinion, judging by the song title).
Also the song Pannonica is quite original. It has a very nice beginning (and ending): with the bells it sounds a bit like a children song.

This album is really the work of a genius. That makes it very interesting (and sometimes a little bit challenging) to listen to. It is never boring, but still… this isn’t music that makes me cry or laugh or dream or sing or dance. It doesn’t evoke any emotions in me.
It is the kind of music you listen to with admiration.
A piece of art.

(Briljant: Brilliant Corners
Grappige titel: Ba-Lue Bolivar Ba-Lues-Are)


  • AmenCorner

    One of my all time favourites. Sonny Rollins rips. His best performance on the tenor IMO.

    Giu 22 2009, 14:13
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