Monday, March 1, 2010

Thelonious MONK Quartet Plus Two – At The Blackhawk 1960

Thelonious MONK Quartet Plus Two – At The Blackhawk 1960
RLP 1171


The sextet sessions from which this one sprung started out as a collaboration between Monk and drummer Shelly Manne. The chemistry between the two was deemed uninspired after two days of playing, at which point tenorman Harold Land and trumpeter Joe Gordon were added for a new project. The result, culled from this one-night-only quartet+2's spot at San Francisco's Blackhawk, is high-energy bop.

The trumpet/double-tenor texture is interesting, giving tunes like "Four In One" a thick forcefulness on the head and a fun pluralism in the solo section. Land is busy and energetic over the changes, while Rouse plays in a more narrative style, referring more often to the melody. "San Francisco Holiday" has an almost big band sort of gaiety to it, with Gordon blowing sonic party streamers out of his horn. Monk is relatively conservative in his comping, but steps out with a mad energy on his solos.Down Beat (1960) - 4.5 Stars - Very Good Plus - "..heartily recommended for the excellent work of [tenor saxophonist] Rouse and Monk...the degree to which Rouse has absorbed his leader's outlook is still amazing...Their empathy is similar to that of Earl Hines and Louis Armstrong.."
From CD Universe.
A stunning session from Thelonious Monk, a really great live date that has Monk's familiar quartet augmented by west coast players Joe Gordon on trumpet and Harold Land on tenor! Given that Charlie Rouse is already in the group on tenor, the addition of Land's horn makes for a very soulful set and Gordon's one of those players we love whenever we get a chance to hear him on record, which isn't that often, given how few sessions he cut! Other players include John Ore on bass and Billy Higgins on drums and titles include "Four In One", "Let's Call This", and "Worry Later".
From Dusty Groove.
Thelonious Monk- (Piano);
Charlie Rouse, Harold Land- (Tenor Sax);
Joe Gordon- (Trumpet);
John Ore- (Bass);
Billy Higgins- (Drums).
A1. Let's Call This   8:26
A2. Four in One   8:32
A3. I'm Getting Sentimental Over You   6:09
B1. San Francisco Holiday (Worry Later)   9:03
B2. 'Round Midnight   12:09
B3. Epistrophy (Closing Theme)   0:59


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