Thelonious Monk
Misterioso | Music On Vinyl Reissue

Music On Vinyl / Columbia

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A TAV Curator's Pick.

Originally released in 1965 and produced by Jazz great Teo Macero, this Hard Bop album by Thelonious Monk is an essential part of Monk fans, and rightfully belongs in any Jazz collection for that matter.

Misterioso (Recorded On Tour) contains 8 powerful live performances at venues such as Brandeis University, Lincoln Center and The Village Gate in New York and the Newport Jazz Festival during the early Sixties, when Jazz was pushed into further directions.

This album features Thelonious Monk on piano, Larry Gales and Butch Warren on double bass, Ben Riley and Frankie Dunlop on drums and longtime Monk band member Charlie Rouse on tenor sax. - Music On Vinyl

“Thelonious Monk was one of the great eccentrics of jazz music. Beyond the funny hats, beyond his tendency to indiscriminately bash away at his piano, was the inimitable sense of melody and sophistication that went into his craft. Though prized for his ability at his instrument and his comping skills (largely being responsible for introducing such previously unusable things like the tritone and the minor second into the jazz lexicon), it was truly the material he contributed to the overall jazz canon that assured his place as one of the all-time greats. More than any other member of the bebop class (save perhaps Parker and Gillespie) his compositions moved the genre forward and are still a necessary step in the education of the modern jazz musician. Monk was also a respected luminary of the jazz world, as many musicians like Bud Powell and John Coltrane held residence in his band before going on to their own successes.

Monk’s style of playing has been called ‘nearly impossible to imitate’ with good reason. Simply put, the way he plays sounds, upon first listen, not only foreign but inherently wrong and offensively bad. Due to the conditioning of listeners’ ears towards only hearing certain rhythms, certain harmonies and certain intervals, Monk’s comping can be extremely jarring until the listener is finally clued into the fact that, yes, he is playing that way on purpose. He is more than capable of playing ‘normally’ if he so desires. Look to the example of “Nutty”, the first track here. Monk starts off playing some haphazard jabs of atonality that almost completely mask the melody hiding underneath. The melody itself, which is rather lighthearted and even jaunty, doesn’t become readily apparent until saxophonist Johnny Griffin joins him, and even then Monk keeps pounding away at a kind of chord structure that would fit much more comfortably within Schoenberg than with a mellow jazz quartet. Only when he takes a solo does it dawn on the first-time listener that despite his proclivities for sonic confrontation vis-a-vis dissonance, Monk possessed one of the best melodic sensibilities of any player of the past century. In stark contrast to the unabashed virtuosity of his peers, which, as the years went by, descended into nothing more than rapid-fire scale recitations, Monk tastefully interpolates the head of the piece throughout his solo with a sweetness and levity with occasional splashes of his forward-thinkingness in the form of slightly aloof intervals.

… this is a fine addition and an excellent snapshot of Monk playing in a simple quartet setting, unencumbered by any pressures to break new ground, and able to just let the music and the musicians be. Highly recommended.” – PopMatters


  • Thelonious Monk, piano
  • Johnny Griffin, tenor saxophone
  • Ahmed Abdul-Malik, bass
  • Roy Haynes, drums


Item description:


Thelonious Monk




Music On Vinyl / Columbia


Vinyl, LP, Album, Reissue



Release Date:

This reissue: 2014 | Original - 1965




Bop, Hard Bop, Piano

Catalog No: