"It profits me but little that a vigilant authority always protects the tranquillity of my pleasures and constantly averts all dangers from my path, without my care or concern, if this same authority is the absolute master of my liberty and my life."

--Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

Monday, October 10, 2011

Birthday Today - Thelonious Monk

Thelonious Monk, one of the most idiosyncratic (and greatest) jazz pianists, was born today in 1917.   Monk was one of the intellectual leaders of the Bebop moment in jazz in the post-war era, at a time when "serious" jazz music was almost mainstream -- Monk was one of only five jazz musicians ever to be on the cover of Time (Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Dave Brubeck, and Wynton Marsalis are the others).   And his unique style -- highly percussive, dissonant, with melodies and unmelodic riffs angling back and forth in strange new combinations -- has been often imitated in the years since.   Here is Monk with one of his greatest compositions, one that the Regular Daughter at age 10 is trying to learn, "'Round Midnight" (in a slightly toned-down version):


No comments:

Post a Comment