Sep 29, 2012
This is the 300th podcast for my show! It hardly seems possible that when I started eight years ago I would have this much to show for it, and over 1.1 million downloads from around the world.
To celebrate, I thought I would take a moment to examine the song from which the blog takes its title - "Straight, No Chaser" by Thelonious Monk. The tune was originally recorded by Monk for Blue Note Records in 1951, and was written as a basic 12 bar blues in B flat. Much of its longevity comes from the creative use of chromatics in the melody, and syncopation in the rhythms.
Music educator Mark C. Gridley wrote about Monk's composition style: "Monk employed simple compositional devices with very original results. His ‘Straight, No Chaser’ involves basically only one idea played again and again, each time in a different part of the measure and with a different ending."
Click here to listen to a few of my favorite versions of the song, including takes from the following albums:
Gerry Mulligan and Thelonious Monk – Mulligan Meets Monk.
Miles Davis – Milestones.
Marian McPartland – Bossa Nova + Soul.
Larry Coryell – Laid Back and Blues.
Ben Sidran Hammond Quartet – Cien Noches.
Jane Ira Bloom – Art and Aviation.
Keith Jarrett – The Complete Live at the Blue Note.
Bill Evans – What’s New – Bill Evans with the Flutists.