Thelonious Monk Quartet – Misterioso


After he was denied club work in New York for years because a marijuana conviction kept him from holding a “cabaret card,” Thelonious Monk’s late-’50s stays at the Five Spot provided him with a forum through which he could reach an audience and also acted as an intense musical laboratory. Misterioso and its companion disc, Thelonious in Action, were Monk’s first professionally recorded live dates, and they feature the excellent 1958 quartet with tenorist Johnny Griffin stretching out on Monk tunes like “In Walked Bud” and “Evidence.” Monk could not only find new dissonances, but he could also find new meanings for dissonance, imbuing his sometimes elliptical, even minimalist, compositions with a joyous playfulness. Griffin adds a strong blues flavor and some unlikely quotations that leaven his intense focus.


01. Nutty
02. Blues Five Spot
03. Let’s Cool One
04. In Walked Bud
05. Just A Gigolo
06. Misterioso
07. ‘Round Midnight
08. Evidence

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