Thelonious Monk – Criss-Cross (1963/2017) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz]

Thelonious Monk – Criss-Cross (1963/2017)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 36:46  minutes |  773 MB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover  | © Columbia – Legacy

„Criss-Cross“, Thelonious Monk’s second album for Columbia Records, features some of the finest work that Monk ever did in the studio with his ’60s trio and quartet. Criss-Cross is a swing-influenced bop album featuring complex melodies and harmonies, Monk’s unique style of stride piano, and his unique ideas on pitch qualities for his improvisations. The title track, “Criss-Cross,” is one of his more critically acclaimed compositions. For this recording, Monk cut out two bars from the original music in order to speed up the overall feel of the piece. It also features Monk’s highly personal use of rhythmic displacement. “Eronel” is a distinctly bop tune that is fast-paced and showcases Monk’s virtuousic stride-style piano playing. The track “Crepuscule with Nellie” was a piece Monk had written for his wife.

Criss-Cross Thelonious Monk’s second album for Columbia Records features some of the finest work that Monk ever did in the studio with his ’60s trio and quartet. Whether revisiting pop standards or reinventing Monk’s own classic compositions, Monk and Charlie Rouse (tenor sax), John Ore (bass), and Frankie Dunlop (drums) exchange powerful musical ideas, as well as provide potent solos throughout the disc. Fittingly, “Hackensack” a frenetic original composition opens the disc by demonstrating the bandleader’s strength in a quartet environment. The solid rhythmic support of the trio unfetters Monk into unleashing endless cascades of percussive inflections and intoxicating chord progressions. The title cut also reflects the ability of the four musicians to maintain melodic intricacies that are at times so exigent it seems cruel that Monk would have expected a musician of any caliber to pull them off. “Tea for Two” showcases Monk’s appreciation for the great stride or “walking” piano style of James P. Johnson and Willie “The Lion” Smith. The arrangement here is lighter, and features a trio (minus Rouse) to accent rather than banter with Monk’s splashes of magnificence throughout. Likewise, Monk’s solo on “Don’t Blame Me” is excellent. The extended runs up and down the keyboard can’t help but reiterate the tremendous debt of gratitude owed to the original stride pianists of the early 20th century. The 1993 compact disc pressing of Criss-Cross sounds great and adds a version of “Pannonica” that was previously unissued at the time. Unfortunately, however, the liner notes originally used on the album jacket penned by “Pannonica”‘s namesake, Baroness Nica de Koenigswarter were replaced by those of a writer for Rolling Stone magazine. This is prime Monk for any degree of listener.

Tracklist:
01. Hackensack
02. Tea for Two
03. Criss Cross
04. Eronel
05. Rhythm-A-Ning
06. Don’t Blame Me (Retake 1)
07. Think of One
08. Crepuscule with Nellie

Personnel:
Thelonious Monk – piano
Charlie Rouse – tenor saxophone
John Ore – bass
Frankie Dunlop – drums

Download:

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