add to wish list | library

16 of 18 recommend this,
would you recommend it?

yes | no

Support this site by purchasing from these vendors using the paid links below. As an Amazon Associate earns from qualifying purchases.
  Fantasy -
  Thelonious Monk with John Coltrane
  "Thelonious Monk with John Coltrane"

Thelonious Monk
John Coltrane
Track listing:
  1. Ruby, My Dear
2. Trinkle, Tinkle
3. Off Minor
4. Nutty-Monk
5. Epistrophy
6. Functional
Recording type:
Recording info:

delete from library | delete recommendation | report errors
Related titles: 15 show all

Reviews: 5 show all

Review by FivePointOne July 21, 2004 (1 of 1 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
Here's another review solely on the sonics. I was really surprised at how little this SACD is an improvement over the previously issued CD. Normally, the piano comes out much cleaner and realistic in SACD than in standard redbook. Unfortunately, that's not quite the rule with this title. The track "Functional" is a perfect example. Fantasy could/should have done a much better job with this SACD.

Was this review helpful to you?  yes | no

Review by sgb October 9, 2003 (1 of 1 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
This album was recorded in April, June and July 1957, but not released until 1961. What is offered here is all that remains of the Monk/Coltrane sessions. I can’t begin to tell you how incredible the music is. I originally bought the album because I am very much a fan of mid-century jazz saxophone players — Parker, Rollins, Coltrane, Hawkins, Desmond and a host of others. In fact, I once related in my column for The Sensible Sound that I thought the Creator bestowed the sax upon us so that we could all enjoy jazz. Pianos, guitars and brass are great, but to this writer, nothing compares to the evocative nature and sonority of a saxophone, no matter whether it’s a tenor, alto or soprano. I have to tell you though, that it’s Monk at his piano who shines brightest here. His ventures into atonal improvs are beyond comparison; his compositions stellar — all 6 of them (2 are bonus tracks, not appearing on the original LP). It is, after all, a recording that might be considered one of a teacher and his prized pupil. Critics consider this album one of Monk’s best. It well represents the music he wrote that musicologists cite to describe him as the most eccentric jazz musician of the century. The album features 3 quartet selections, 2 septets (with Coleman Hawkins as an added attraction) and one 9:42 piano solo, “Functional,” closing out the disk.

Coltrane had gone to work for Monk at New York’s Five Spot shortly after he (Coltrane) parted company with Miles Davis in 1957. His association with Monk proved to have quite an impact on him, as evidenced by the evolution of his playing found here and later on Giant Steps. For all intents, Monk was his tutor, and Coltrane would later recount stories of going to Monk’s house early mornings for advice on problems he was having with some chord progressions. During performances, Monk often left the stage for long periods, allowing Coltrane to experiment with the involved soloing that would become his trademark. If you are a Monk fan who has been toying with buying this, do it and enjoy; you can thank me later. If you are one who hasn’t yet grown to appreciate bop, this one might not be the most accessible introduction to the genre.

The tracks are mostly mono, of course — only two of the six are stereo — but don’t let that dissuade you from picking this up. The sound is excellent, if only slightly reticent, for its age. Even though most of the tracks are not stereo, Monk and Coltrane enjoy distinct locations within the smaller mono sound stage. I compared this new SACD release to the K2 remaster that was issued in 2000, and found that there are several differences between them.

Aside from being less compressed, the new SACD appears to have a lighter, better-defined sound. Both appear to have about the same tonal balance, but the SACD seems to let more of the subtle micro-dynamics come through. One example of this is in one’s ability to hear the air coming from Coltrane’s saxophone keys. The upper harmonics of the piano exhibit a bit more air too.

Was this review helpful to you?  yes | no

Review by Croc April 27, 2005 (1 of 3 found this review helpful)
for me this disc is a mixed bag.
sonics is far from what i used to get from Fantasy's SACDs.
3 out of 6 tracks can be found on "Monk's musik" SACD.
but the last track is beatiful.

Was this review helpful to you?  yes | no