‘The Unique Thelonious Monk’ is an album of standards recorded on March 17 and April 3, 1956 with Art Blakey on drums and Oscar Pettiford on bass and released the same year by Riverside.
Track Listing : 1.Liza (All The Clouds’Ll Roll Away) (George & Ira Gershwin, Gus Kahn) – 03:11 . 2.Memories Of You (Eubie Blakeandy Razaf) – 04:15 . 3.Honeysuckle Rose (Fats Wallerandy Razaf) – 05:32 . 4.Darn That Dream (Eddie Delange, James Van Heusen) – 06:30 . 5.Tea For Two (Vincent Youmans, Irving Caesar) – 05:52 . 6.You Are Too Beautiful (Richard Rodgers, Lorenz Hart) – 04:53 . 7.Just You, Just Me (Jesse Greer, Raymond Klages) – 07:59
Musicians : Thelonious Monk – Piano . Art Blakey – Drums . Oscar Pettiford – Bass
Production : Produced By Orrin Keepnews Rudy Van Gelder – Engineer
Package : Paul Bacon – Cover Design . Ken Braren – Cover Design . Orrin Keepnews – Liner Notes . Harris Lewine – Cover Design . Lawrence Shustak – Photography
Recorded On March 17 And April 3, 1956.
Released In 1956 By Riverside.
Without the benefit of the forceful compositions of Monk’s later recordings, we are offered instead deceptively familiar standards, which are then subjected to Monk’s unique approach to melody, harmony and tempo. At times it is like letting Nightmare on Elm Street’s Freddie loose in Santa’s Grotto. […]
The Jazz Review & Gunther Schuller
The “Unique” album flounders on this false premiseand somehow deep within himself Monk may have sensed this. The album seems at times to suffer from over-preparation. In any case, he again seems a prisoner of the tunes with fortunately some exceptions. […]
It was a continuation of Riverside’s strategy to broaden consumer interest in Monk by having him record cover versions of well-known material which, Riverside hoped, would help to break down the prevailing perception that Monk’s original music was “too difficult” for mass-market acceptance. […]