Thelonious Sphere Monk -- yes, that's his given name, though his middle name is a corruption of "Speer" from bygone generations (he would often say it shows he wasn't a square) -- was born on October 10th, 1917. To celebrate his centennial, we'll be devoting six hours over two shows to Monk's music.
Although he admired Teddy Wilson and Duke Elliington, as well as the stride piano players he heard growing up in the San Juan Hill district of Manhattan, he also became a moving force in the bebop revolution of the early-mid '40s when he was the house pianist at Minton's Playhouse, a Harlem after hours club that served as an incubator for the new music forged by Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie.
On Saturday, October 7th
, we'll showcase Monk's extensive discography on Blue Note, Riverside and Columbia. On October 14th
, the emphasis will be on Monk the composer as we'll sample versions of his songs by others, as well as the man himself.
Please join me for Strictly Jazz to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birth of a true American genius.