An instantly identifiable sound is the trademark of all the great instrumentalists in jazz. Recognition of those rare, singular voices has always been rather immediate, but none more so than with Thelonious Sphere Monk, who was without a doubt, one of jazz's great instrumental stylists as well as one of the music's most gifted composers. A few bars of Monk's superbly idiosyncratic piano and there is little doubt as to the identity of the player. The same applies to Monk's compositions, even if performed by another instrumentalist or ensemble. Yet Monk's work was long neglected and although a small coterie of musicians including Coleman Hawkins, Mary Lou Williams, Bud Powell, Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker recognised his talents from the beginning, Monk laboured in relative solitude during much of his most creative period. This box set spans Monk's work and recorded output over three of the most noteworthy record labels he was involved with, consecutively: Blue Note - As far as his compositions are concerned, Monk recorded his most important body of work during his five-year association with the Blue Note label. Prestige - where he recorded some fine work with the likes of tenorist Sonny Rollins. And Riverside – which resulted in the album Monk Plays Duke Ellington, a trio date on which Monk presented an all-Ellington repertoire. Monk launched one of the great jazz labels in jazz history, while Riverside launched the crucial successful part of Thelonious Monk's, until this point, seriously overlooked recording career.
Disc 11. Humph 2:50
Disc 21. Four In One 3:28
Disc 31. Let's Call This 5:03
Disc 41. 'Round About Midnight 5:07