thelonious monk and sonny rollins

.:: Thelonious Monk created some of his most innovative music during the period in the early '50s when he recorded for Prestige, and Sonny Rollins was in the forefront of the few musicians who could respond to Monk's challenging compositions and sharp-angled, dissonant comping. It's apparent in the way the two transform the standards "The Way You Look Tonight" and "I Want to Be Happy," Rollins soaring through the former and bringing wry wit to the latter. Monk's "Friday the 13th" is heard in an extended performance with Rollins and French-horn player Julius Watkins (challenging, probing music). --Stuart Broomer

These five tracks, recorded in the 1950s and reissued in 2006, feature Thelonious Monk and Sonny Rollins (two of the era's most progressive musicians) on the stand together. The interplay between Monk's skeletal, idiosyncratic, yet strangely logical playing and Rollins's full, rich tone and adventurous harmonic explorations complement each other beautifully on both standards ("The Way You Look Tonight") and Monk originals ("Friday the 13th"). "Friday the 13th" is the highlight of the set, featuring plenty of stretching out from Rollins, Monk, and French horn player Julius Watkins. This is a fine addition to any Monk and/or Rollins collection.

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