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Bob Elliott
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Bob Elliott

7/14/2018 10:14:49 PM

To Me No Jazz Piano is Even Close to Thelonious Monk



Registered: 06-13-2000
Posts: 11997
Loc: CA
Alright, I’ll grant you the genius of Bill Evan’s playing, Duke Ellington's playing. Even including them Thelonious’ thinking comes out so much more clear to me than most players. It’s at the same time the most simple and the most complex. He has all the dexterity anyone could ever need and yet showing off dexterity never seems even slightly to be his aim.

I don’t know, to my ears he seems in a league of his own.

A lot of jazz piano irritates me. Like too much silverware fell on the floor. Monk’s playing is some sort of perfect. All that dissonance and yet it falls so easy on my ears.


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Bryon Tosoff

7/14/2018 10:44:56 PM


hi Bob, yeah, think i may have posted about Monk and Stoneman commented on it,some time ago not sure if that post i did is still around, but yeah, very sparse and cerebral,. I have studied many jazzers from Rachel Z to Chick Corea, Keith Jarrett Oscar Peterson and Bill Evans and all are great, some people just cant get their heads around Monks style, they just dont get it and that is understandable, jazz is complex rhythmically and with the modes and voicings , some jazzers music are more full rich and textured and others sparse and come at you from different directions. For me, I love those rootless chords and tasty syncopated melodic curves and then of course playing or improvising outside of an expected chord or voicing or harmony , that is it is somewhat distant or unexpected or perhaps stretching the envelop . I really love George Shearing and his style, the locked hand technique thing is quite fun to work with and I have done a fair amount of that and teach it to my students. its a neat technique, took me years to get it down. But yeah, Monk was a genius and putting interesting sounds together, although like I said, not many get it


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Hop On Pop

7/15/2018 10:03:48 AM


It's all about the composition.
Those pieces are just so beautiful that any competent pianist can sound amazing playing them. But Monk obviously knows them inside and out. And he's so creative that the things he does they just fit.
Technically, he's a very, very good guitar player. But when he plays his own pieces, in particular, he is the greatest.


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Larree

7/15/2018 12:23:39 PM


Love Monk. Also love McCoy Tyner.


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Larree

7/15/2018 12:27:54 PM


One of my favorite albums here.


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Bryon Tosoff

7/15/2018 1:14:10 PM ---- Updated 7/15/2018 1:24:33 PM


yes Larree, Tyner, very influential ,chick corea i think worked with McCoy if my history is correct . there are so many players pianists jazzers guitarists any instrument in jazz that are outstanding, for me, i love doing voicings building rich textured layers and have to get back into doing the whole jazz thing, been kinda lazy and lackadaisical in things in the jazz end of late. okay great subject


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Hop On Pop

7/15/2018 1:24:32 PM


A friend's dad went to high school and was friends with Herbie Hancock on the South Side of Chicago, back in the 50s and 60s.
He said that, at lunch time, he and a group of friends used to sit with Herbie and eat lunch with Herbie in the music room at school, while Herbie messed around on the piano in there.
How's that for a memory?
Damn.


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Stoneman

7/15/2018 9:38:59 PM


Never really got him. In some pieces, his music sounded like childish tinkering to me. Not to say that he was not a genius because clearly he was or so many other people would not have adored him so much. All I know is that some musicians move me in a certain way and others don't move me at all. Instead of being pleasing to my ears, his work was rather unsettling and at times bizarre. I always felt a bit confused about what he was trying to say musically. Not on my list of things to listen to at all. I like my music to have more structure and order. Complete with familiar patterns and what not. But I have known many musicians who tried and failed to replicate what he did. That, in itself, is testament to his gift. Most geniuses are misunderstood. I certainly never understood his music. So, he fits the role for me.


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Steve April

7/16/2018 11:16:19 PM


Well Bob, and all, you got me listenin' to jazz on youtube, which I have not done for awhile, alittle John Coltrane, dizzy, Louis, cab Calloway, monk, and Charlie Parker...so in the spirit of jazz,


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Stoneman

7/17/2018 11:30:47 PM


Spendid! Charlie Parker the man, the legend!


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