In early 2005, an engineer at the Library of Congress accidentally discovered, in an unmarked box, the recording of Thelonious Monk's and John Coltrane's performance at a 1957 benefit concert at Carnegie Hall. Long considered one of the most important musical meetings in modern jazz, Monk's and Coltrane's work together during a scant few months in 1957 had, until this discovery, been thought to be almost entirely undocumented.
In this book, Gabriel Solis provides an historical, cultural, and analytical study of this landmark recording, which was released by Blue Note records later in 2005. Taking a wide-ranging approach to the recording, Solis addresses issues of liveness, jazz teaching and learning, enculturation, and historiography. Because nearly a half century passed between when the recording was made and its public release, it is a particularly interesting lens through which to view jazz both as a historical tradition and as a contemporary cultural form. Most importantly Solis accounts for the music itself. Offering in depth analytical discussions of each composition, as well as Monk's and Coltrane's improvisational performances he provides insight into Monk's impact on Coltrane as he developed his signature sheets of sound style, as well as into the influence of a strong side-man, like Coltrane, on Monk at his creative and professional peak. The first study of one of the most significant jazz releases of the twenty-first century, Thelonious Monk Quartet with John Coltrane at Carnegie Hall is essential reading for all jazz scholars, students, musicians, and fans.
Introduction Chapter 1: Monk With Coltrane Chapter 2: The Morningside Community Center Benefit and the Jazz Concert as an Institution to 1957 Chapter 3: Monk's Mood and Crepuscule with Nellie Chapter 4: Evidence and Nutty Chapter 5: Bye-Ya and Sweet and Lovely Chapter 6: Blue Monk and Epistrophy Chapter 7: The Recording in Its Time References
Gabriel Solis is Associate Professor of music, African American studies, and anthropology at the University of Illinois. A scholar of jazz, American popular music, and the transnational politics of race, his work has appeared in leading journals of ethnomusicology, music history, and sociology. He is the author of Monk's Music: Thelonious Monk and Jazz History in the Making (California, 2008), co-editor with Bruno Nettl of Musical Improvisation: Art, Education, and Society (Illinois, 2009), and author of a forthcoming book on singer, songwriter, and performing artist, Tom Waits titled Sounding America: Gender, Genre, Memory, and the Music of Tom Waits (California).
Reviews for Thelonious Monk Quartet with John Coltrane at Carnegie Hall
-Solis's arguments are compelling and wide ranging, covering the specifics of this concert and recording but reiterating essential points for jazz studies research pertaining to the musical work, issues of authenticity and reproduction, nostalgia and reissued recordings, and academic institutionalization, among others, that make the book applicable and engaging beyond just the scope of its primary object of study.---Twentieth-Century Music