It is a rare occasion that an American jazz musician takes the cover of Time Magazine. Believe it or not, in the history of the prestigious magazine, Thelonious Monk is one of five musicians who have graced its cover.
Monk’s music is timeless.
What is it about Monk, one of jazz’s greatest and most enigmatic figures that captivates audiences? - Historians and musicians. Was it his stubborn and enaminac spirit? Was it his distinctive improvisations splashed with unconventional chords and an unique sense of rhythm which in the 1940s set the stage for experimentalism? Perhaps, it was his use of ethnography scholarship, which delves into larger issues of jazz history.
Thelonious Monk (1917 - 1982) , the composer, musician and bandleader heavily influenced the Bebop era, which posthumously earned him the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. ”Ruby, My Dear,” “Epistrophy,” “Blue Monk” are just a few of the genius signature tunes.
Interested in learning more about Monk, the man and his music?
Bassist extraordinaire, Dr. Larry Ridley, Professor of Music-Emeritus, Rutgers University will conduct a unique journey through the life and music of pianist and composer Thelonious Monk over the course of three months on Tuesday nights at Jazz at Lincoln Center. The topics covered will speak to Ridley’s personal experiences as bassist with Thelonious, their travels together and friendship, Monk’s family and his music. Recordings and visuals materials will be utilized.
Recommended reading: Thelonious Monk: The Life and Times of an American Original by Robin D.G. Kelley (Free Press).