Thelonious Monk - Brilliant Corners LP

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During his early years, Thelonious Monk was considered one of the “most challenging, provocative and disturbing figures in modern music.” His music was regarded as difficult to listen to and understand, causing many fans initially to shy away from trying to “dig Monk.” This album helped remedy that problem. Recorded in December of 1956 for Riverside with a quartet featuring primarily Max Roach (percussion), Sonny Rollins (tenor sax), Oscar Pettiford (bass), Ernie Henry (alto sax), Clark Terry (trumpet), Brilliant Corners, an album of mostly self-penned numbers, is one of his greatest recordings. While still not casual listening, its pure brilliance and vitality can reach just about any listener.

“This album was actually one of the major factors in the successful battle to win new and wider acceptance for Monk. In the sequence of his Riverside discography, it followed two initial albums devoted entirely to 'standards' and offered the first occasion on this label for Thelonious to express himself basically through his own writing. Creating music for five instrumental voices in terms of his personal and unorthodox construction, approach and phrasing, he produced some startlingly brilliant examples of the great depth, wit, and strength of his style.” - producer Orrin Keepnews