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Thelonious Monk: From Man to Myth (Part 1)

From: WFIU
Series: Night Lights Classic Jazz
Length: 58:58

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An hourlong program of classic jazz, presenting the first of a two-part program exploring the life and music of Thelonious Monk, with special guest and Monk biographer Robin D.G. Kelley. Read the full description.

A983206f27e65ba44e7e0077381b4126_small Thelonious Monk was an innovator deeply rooted in tradition, a stride-influenced pianist marketed as "the high priest of bebop," a family man who became a bohemian icon, and one of the most significant composers of modern jazz. "Always know!" was a favored Monk proclamation, but in an ironic twist of fate, for more than half a century he's been one of the best-known and yet least-understood figures in the history of the music.

Author Robin D.G. Kelley spent 14 years working on a biography of Monk, now published as Thelonious Monk: the Life and Times of an American Original. Gaining unparalled access to the pianist's family and to his archives, Kelley has produced a portrait that gives depth and humanity to an artist most often characterized by his funny hats, his habit of dancing on the bandstand, and his eccentric behavior. At the same time, Kelley also offers numerous insights into the heart of Monk's music and his approach to playing piano.

In the first of a two-part Monk special Kelley talks with me about Monk's early life in New York City's San Juan Hill neighborhood, a little-known woman stride pianist who played a key role in Monk's musical education, Monk's teenage tour-of-duty with an evangelical act, some of the misconceptions that surround the birth of bebop and Monk's role in it, and much, much more. We'll also hear many of Monk's early Blue Note recordings, some of his early-1950s Prestige sides, and two live 1940s recordings that feature Monk at Minton's (the legendary Harlem club that hosted some of the earliest bebop jam sessions) and with Charlie Parker.

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Piece Description

Thelonious Monk was an innovator deeply rooted in tradition, a stride-influenced pianist marketed as "the high priest of bebop," a family man who became a bohemian icon, and one of the most significant composers of modern jazz. "Always know!" was a favored Monk proclamation, but in an ironic twist of fate, for more than half a century he's been one of the best-known and yet least-understood figures in the history of the music.

Author Robin D.G. Kelley spent 14 years working on a biography of Monk, now published as Thelonious Monk: the Life and Times of an American Original. Gaining unparalled access to the pianist's family and to his archives, Kelley has produced a portrait that gives depth and humanity to an artist most often characterized by his funny hats, his habit of dancing on the bandstand, and his eccentric behavior. At the same time, Kelley also offers numerous insights into the heart of Monk's music and his approach to playing piano.

In the first of a two-part Monk special Kelley talks with me about Monk's early life in New York City's San Juan Hill neighborhood, a little-known woman stride pianist who played a key role in Monk's musical education, Monk's teenage tour-of-duty with an evangelical act, some of the misconceptions that surround the birth of bebop and Monk's role in it, and much, much more. We'll also hear many of Monk's early Blue Note recordings, some of his early-1950s Prestige sides, and two live 1940s recordings that feature Monk at Minton's (the legendary Harlem club that hosted some of the earliest bebop jam sessions) and with Charlie Parker.

1 Comment Atom Feed

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Great job

I just love that Monk sound! Thanks for the bio info

Timing and Cues

Total Program Length: 59:00

00:00 Segment 1: Program Intro
Incue: Theme Music

01:00 Segment 2: Optional Cutaway for News

06:00 Segment 3: Program Part 1
Outcue: “…From Man to Myth’ on Night Lights.”

36:40 Segment 4: MIDPOINT BREAK (1:00 music bed)

37:40 Segment 5: Program Part 2

59:00 End Program

Related Website

http://indianapublicmedia.org/nightlights/thelonious-monk-man-myth-part-1/