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Thelonious Sphere Monk (Rocky Mount, North Carolina 10th October 1917 - Hartsdale, New York 17th February 1982) was a pianist and composer.

Widely considered as one of the most important musicians in jazz – he is one of only five jazz musicians to be featured on the cover of Time – Monk had a unique improvisational style and made numerous contributions to the standard jazz repertoire, including "Epistrophy," "'Round Midnight," "Blue Monk," "Straight No Chaser" and "Well… read more

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  • Avatar for El_Salvador7
    BTW, following up on my last: if your German is up to par and wanna know more, read that book 'Thelonious Monk und der Free Jazz' by Jurgen Arendt. It considers the heavy influence of his revolutionary style of playing and composing on famous founding free jazz artists and also shows how he directly influenced their music by playing with them.
  • Avatar for El_Salvador7
    @GoatUser: Monk's songs obviously aren't free jazz by any stretch of the imagination, but his playing style is. That's why people tag it that way, even if it's wrong. Still, without Monk having exposed jazz to his way of playing, Free Jazz would have sounded a lot different. He inspired and/or played with all the major artists that shaped that style of jazz.
  • Avatar for PhnomPencil
    It's because they think the minor seconds are accidental ;)
  • Avatar for GoatUser
    It is VERY wrong... Free Jazz has uncommon or (more commonly) no structure; Monk's structures have become so widely known that half of his tracks are standards by now. A standard is like the very antithesis of Free Jazz.
  • Avatar for El_Salvador7
    Indeed Monk was not part of the avant-garde free jazz scene, but he undeniably did inspire huge parts of it. So it's not even that wrong, really.
  • Avatar for El_Salvador7
    People hear somebody play weird free sounding sounds, they thinkin: "that's free jazz right there." Can't blame em for that. Jazz is always free, that's the beauty of it. That's what makes it appealing.
  • Avatar for Artakha
    No, not free jazz. [3]
  • Avatar for lnqdty
    No, not free jazz. [2]
  • Avatar for GoatUser
    Man, I could understand a jazz newbie tagging this stuff as Free Jazz having no real idea of what that actually is, and I mean he had his harsher moments, but how did it get popular enough to get to the fifth most used tag? I'm pretty damn fuckin' sure not even a single track he ever made in his life was free jazz.
  • Avatar for MisterJunior
    I agree completely. In fact it's my favorite Monk album and one of my top 10-15 albums of all time.

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