Very few jazz composers have experienced the extremes of acceptance and rejection that were Thelonious Monk's lot. Ignored and rejected early in his career – in part for the oblique weirdness of his piano style, in part for the difficulty and angularity of his compositions, and in part because he was quite clearly mentally ill – he did at least live to see his music given the appreciation it deserved, and his work has only grown in esteem since his death in 1982. Today, his pieces are among the most frequently performed and recorded of any jazz composer; as popularity among musicians goes, his music is on the same level as that of Duke Ellington and Miles Davis.
Reissue with latest remastering. Comes with new liner notes. The first of two sets recorded during a weekend in 1961 features the Miles Davis Quintet at a period of time when Hank Mobley was on tenor and the rhythm section was comprised of pianist Wynton Kelly, bassist Paul Chambers, and drummer Jimmy Cobb. What is most remarkable is the way Kelly fits into this particular blend of the Miles band. Kelly's interplay with Chambers is especially brilliant, because his sense of blues phrasing inside counterpoint harmony is edgy and large, with left-hand chords in the middle register rather than sharp right-hand runs to accentuate choruses.