This disc contains an all-star cast headed up by Thelonious Monk (piano) and includes some collaborative efforts with Sonny Rollins (tenor sax) that go beyond simply inspired and into a realm of musical telepathy. The five tunes included on Work are derived from three separate sessions held between November of 1953 and September of the following year. As is often the case, this likewise means that there are three distinct groups of musicians featured.
With the arrival Thelonious Sphere Monk, modern music– let alone modern culture–simply hasn’t been the same. Recognized as one of the most inventive pianists of any musical genre, Monk achieved a startlingly original sound that even his most devoted followers have been unable to successfully imitate. His musical vision was both ahead of its time and deeply rooted in tradition, spanning the entire history of the music from the “stride” masters of James P. Johnson and Willie “the Lion” Smith to the tonal freedom and kinetics of the “avant garde.”
Following the subtly modern bent of much of The Cape Verdean Blues, Horace Silver recommitted himself to his trademark "funky jazz" sound on The Jody Grind. Yet he also consciously chose to keep a superbly advanced front line, with players like trumpeter Woody Shaw (retained from the Cape Verdean session), altoist/flutist James Spaulding, and tenor saxophonist Tyrone Washington.
Silver, despite having Brent Mydland (later the Grateful Dead's Keyboardist) and Tom Leadon (brother of the Eagles' Bernie Leadon) as band members, didn't live up to its possibilities. Wham Bam (also known as Wham Bam Shang-A-Lang), a fairly weak slice of bubblegum pop, was the hit from the album…