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Straight No Chaser - A Jazz Show

Welcome to Straight No Chaser, the Award-winning Podcast hosted by Jeffrey Siegel

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.