For some reason, I completely lost interest in the music of jazz musician Thelonious Monk. I used to find it captivating but for the last decade, his music became one-dimensional and lifeless. And then...
via Emusic, I downloaded Epistrophy from Monk in Paris: Live at the Olympia, a 1965 recording. Maybe it's the recording, maybe it's saxophonist Charlie Rouse, maybe it was in the context of other music I heard last night, or just maybe my ears are ready again for the world according to Monk. In any case, wow.
I burned through my monthly allotment of emusic downloads last night with tracks by the Ying Quartet, eighth blackbird, Paul Moravec, and in a bit of nostalgia, ELP playing Copland etc. plus cover versions of tv soundtracks for Batman, Mission Impossible and Hawaii Five-O. Of the nostalgia, only Batman proved worthy. I admit all that only so I can point out I now have to wait until next month for the rest of the Monk album.
The show closes with "Bright Mississippi" and a moving reading of "Epistrophy," leaving listeners left in a kind of awe at the joyous, brilliant, and bright offering this band laid before a European audience nearly 40 years ago.
NPR streams Epistrophy as played by Monk and John Coltrane.