Friday, February 08, 2008

Melodious Thunk...

Thelonious Sphere Monk, the possessor of a most oblique genius, attacked his piano like a panther attacks a tit mouse. Scattered, sputtering, spinning, spontaneous magnificence. If you haven't seen, Straight No Chaser, the excellent documentary on his music, mind, and disputed madness, you're truly missing out. His rendition of "Just a Gigolo" (here, 4:44 in) is something that will rearrange your molecules permanently. You don't have to like jazz. A passing interest in the stuff that makes remarkable humans tick will get you in the door. Don't miss Monk lying in bed in a Copenhagen hotel, trying to get his familiar down home cooking from room service. "Say, man; you got any chicken livers?" Incidentally, Monk's middle name, "Sphere," derives from his maternal grandmother, Sphere Batts. Not a hipster's cool affectation, "Sphere" was part of Monk's given name. Monk exceeded affectation. One thing though, he's not the greatest speaker in the world. Or maybe it's just a language filtered through the swampy quagmire of a raw musical brain.


Blogger Ian Davis said...

What a brilliant man. A true genius. Love the play on words with your title too. Thank for your appreciation for jazz and this week with the Grammy award winner, it is much needed for more awareness and such.

11:52 AM  

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