Thursday, October 10, 2013

Spastic and Personal

A modest marker for one of the giants of modern music, and his life-long partner, Nellie, and their daughter, Boo-Boo.

Today is the 96th birthday anniversary of Thelonious Sphere Monk, surely one of the most idiosyncratic artists to create aural vibrations in the last century. A few years ago a friend gave me the photo above, taken on a fall day at the Ferncliff Cemetary in Hartsdale, NY. I was cleaning out my desk at work this afternoon and – purely by chance – I came across it. Maybe it wasn't by chance, who knows? Anyway, WKCR is running its annual Monk festival and it is a study in pure genius. You only have to listen to Monk's deconstruction of the blues on "Bag's Groove" from the "Miles Davis and the Jazz Giants" date on Prestige. That's minimalism like Philip Glass never imagined!

The title for this entry, by the way, comes from the name Boris Rose gave to one of his bootlegs, a 1963 broadcast that Monk made from Birdland. I ought to post that one here on Gems one of these days. Meanwhile, keep your corners bright when coming on the Hudson. Bye-ya!

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