Thelonious Monk in His Prime: Copenhagen, 1966

On April 17, 1966, Thelo­nious Monk per­formed a spe­cial half-hour set for a tele­vi­sion pro­gram in Copen­hagen, Den­mark. The footage cap­tures Monk in his prime. His quar­tet fea­tures the clas­sic line­up of Char­lie Rouse on tenor sax­o­phone, Lar­ry Gales on Bass and Ben Riley on Drums. They play three songs, begin­ning with an 18-minute ver­sion of “Lulu’s Back in Town,” from the 1964 album It’s Monk’s Time. Each musi­cian has room to solo as Monk gets up from his piano and does his stiff, idio­syn­crat­ic dance. Next, Monk plays a solo ver­sion of the stan­dard, “Don’t Blame Me,” by Jim­my McHugh and Dorothy Fields. The full quar­tet returns for Monk’s sig­na­ture show-clos­er, “Epistro­phy.” The Copen­hagen set, along with anoth­er one record­ed two days ear­li­er in Nor­way, is avail­able on DVD as part of the Jazz Icons series.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

John Coltrane Plays Only Live Per­for­mance of A Love Supreme

1959: The Year that Changed Jazz

Thelo­nious Monk, Bill Evans and More on the Clas­sic Jazz 625 Show

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