Fri, 31 October 2014
The Thelonious Monk Quartet with Charlie Rouse lasted eleven years when they hit the hippest club in Los Angles, “The It Club” for two dates on October 31 and November 1, 1964. Rouse had formally filled the revolving sax chair that had been held alternately by Johnny Griffin, John Coltrane and even Clark Terry, in Monk’s varying sized groups six years earlier, and was near the height of his powers as a Monk foil.
The Rhythm section, however, was new - drummer Ben Riley had joined at the beginning of the year and bassist Larry Gales had only logged in a month at the time of these dates, replacing Butch Warren (who had replaced John Ore). However, the recordings made fifty years ago today show a band mature beyond their time together. Apparently there were no formal plans to record the show for release on Columbia Records, and the name of the label engineer who recorded the evening on three-track tapes is now lost to history. What we have on Live at the It Club are highlights from the 3 sets he played on each night (the Mosaic Records reissue features the entire two night stand), a typical Monk mix of standards (“I’m Getting Sentimental over You” and “All the Things You Are” bookend the evening) and originals, including “Brilliant Mississippi” which had been released the previous year on Monk’s Dream. Fans interested in this particularly fertile period of Monk’s career should check out the album Solo Monk he recorded on the afternoons preceding and following these shows in an L.A. studio. Two days later, on November 3, the Quartet was upstate in San Francisco, where Live at the Jazz Workshop was recorded.
Category:general -- posted at: 10:00am EDT