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Thelonious Monk

Best of the Blue Note Years

Format: CD   Release Date: 03/30/1991
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For listeners unsure about diving into Monk's entire Blue Note catalog, this best-of roundup makes for a very fine alternative. Covering his bebop-era work from the late '40s and early '50s, the 16-track collection finds Monk in his early prime with such up-and-coming jazz standards as "Ruby, My Dear," "In Walked Bud," "'Round Midnight," and "Straight No Chaser." And unlike much of the pianist's later work on Riverside and Columbia, here the sound is compact and fleet, with some of the best solos to be heard on any classic bop date. One can especially credit the likes of Lou Donaldson, Lucky Thompson, Kenny Dorham, and Art Blakey for that. And there's several stellar sidemen and 12 sides of peak jazz still to mention. ~ Stephen Cook, Rovi

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