Original Riverside 1958 (Blue Label with reel and microphone logo, Second Pressing)-Thelonious Monk/Brilliant Corners/Mono Riverside RLP 12-226.Thelonious Monk, piano (also celeste on Pannonica); Ernie Henry, alto sax; Sonny Rollins, tenor sax; Oscar Pettiford, bass; Max Roach,drums (also tympany on Bemsha Swing). New York; December, 1956.(On Bemsha Swing: Clark Terry, trumpet, replaces Henry; Paul Chambers, bass replaces Pettiford, I surrender Dear is unaccompanied piano solo.)
Side 1- Brilliant Corners, Ba-lue Bolivar Ba-lues-are. Side 2-Pannonica, I Surrender, Dear,Swing.
Thelonious Monk remains among the most challenging, provocative and disturbing figures in modern music. He has consistently been described in such terms for as long as he has been on the jazz scene- which is precisely as long as there has been modern jazz, for Monk of course was one of the principle molders of the new jazz. He will probably continue to be described this way. For Monk's music is decidedly not designed for casual listening. Everything he writes and plays is jazz into which an important creative talent has put more than a little of himself. Thus, inevitably, Monk and his music demand the most difficult thing any artist can require of his audience attention.
And Monk is a hard task-master at a recording session, a perfectionist (I've never been satisfied with one of my records yet, he says, and means it) who knows just how he wants each note bent and phrased and who drives the others as hard as he drives himself-which, in an abstract sense, is a little unfair of him.
In the end, it wasn't impossible merely far from easy, and in the end everyone else was satisfied and Monk probably almost satisfied. And the final results are obviously very much worth having accomplished and (to return to the first theme of these comments) worth paying attention to.
Condition; LP- Very clean and brilliant copy thick vinyl (Side One) EX++ a 2 finger mark across end of Brilliant Corners and run-in to Ba-lue a slight tick about 6 revolutions (Side Two) M- to EX++, I've played the LP and it is a very quite album throughout. I have the white first pressing in mint condition and the comparisons are ever so slight, as you well know the prices for a white first pressing is $400-$500. Jacket- VG- (Cover and back are clean and clear but after 50 years seam splits on 6"at top and full split at bottom and some split on end binding edge) Even though the jacket has flaws and though the record has been played, it's in excellent condition with no serious flaws what so ever.
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