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Straight No Chaser - A Jazz Show

Straight No Chaser is the place for jazz lovers (and those who will soon be jazz lovers) to enjoy podcasts with their favorite music and artists. Winner of the 2017 JazzTimes Readers' Poll for Best Podcast, your host Jeffrey Siegel will take you inside the world of jazz, from the new releases to the best festiva;s to remembrances of jazz legends.

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.