Though initially misunderstood, Thelonious Monk came to be regarded as one of the key figures in the evolution of jazz music in the 1950’s to 70’s, even appearing on the cover of Time magazine.
Undoubtedly a maverick pioneer, his profound influence remains a bright flame, his compositions an important continuing resource in the jazz repertoire.
Monk’s pianistic approach was rooted in the stride style of James P. Johnson and Fats Waller. Building on that foundation he embraced modes, whole tones, clusters and polytonality. It is perhaps no surprise that his music took its time to catch on, but his virtuosic playing and unique musical personality ultimately made him a difficult genius to ignore.
Monk’s body of work is an unlikely candidate for study at intermediate level, but renowned jazz pianist, composer and arranger Ronnie Mathews has risen to an improbable challenge in producing a slim and accessible collection of 14 intermediate piano solos, published Stateside some years ago but only recently clearing licensing for release here in the UK…Continue reading Thelonious Monk • Intermediate Piano Solos