Catalogue Number
Release Date
18th May 2018
1. Friday The 13th / 2. In Walked Bud / 3. Pannonica / 4. Skippy / 5. Monk's Mood / 6. Epistrophy / 7. Thelonious / 8. Introspection
Big birthdays have to be duly celebrated and when it comes to the 100th, there is no getting around a good party. October 10, 2017 was one of those days and the birthday boy was someone whose name elicits a dutiful sigh from anyone who has held an instrument in their hand and played jazz: Thelonious Monk the lonely master of the bebop piano, grandmaster of jazz composers, grandest master in the stylist league if establishing a personal touch is one of the most important things in jazz, then Thelonious Monk has the best business card. His compositional work is outside the competition because of these curious things he created. Melodies derived from themes that feel like the inner core of the jazz aesthetic. The themes are always short and repeated umpteen times, sometimes modified, sometimes verbatim. If it can be described in a single sentence, then this is what distinguishes Monk's music. This Berlin concert was only the second time that the orchestra played in this constellation. We met for the first time at the festival in Lana, Southern Tyrol, in May 2017 and the atmosphere was perfect from the start because everyone understood that big band sections were not what was wanted here. They wanted a sound that can only be produced when individualists play together. Then we celebrated with a few hours of live jazz, which differed from a good Bordeaux in one distinct way -- this here was no blend, it was 100% pure Thelonious Monk. - Wolfgang Schmidtke