180 Gram Gatefold LP
Monk’s fi rst major record contract was with Riverside, though at that time the company was just a small independent label that paled in comparison to the magnitude of Columbia, which would be his next step to success. The pianist’s obscurity at the time, and his aura as a diffi cult musicians’ musician, led Riverside’s producer Orrin Keepnews to have Monk dedicate his two earliest LPs for the label to interpretations of songs by other composers: a homage to Duke Ellington and the LP presented here, The Unique Thelonious Monk, a set of well-known standards. The positive reception of these works by the public would result in Keepnews allowing Monk to record his own compositions. Backing Monk are such brilliant musicians as Oscar Pettiford on bass, and Art Blakey on drums.
1 LIZA (ALL THE CLOUDS’LL ROLL AWAY) (George & Ira Gershwin-Gus Kahn) 3:14
2 MEMORIES OF YOU (Eubie Blake-Andy Razaf) 4:20
3 HONEYSUCKLE ROSE (Fats Waller-Andy Razaf) 5:35
4 DARN THAT DREAM (Jimmy Van Heusen-Eddie DeLange) 6:33
5 NICE WORK IF YOU CAN GET IT (George & Ira Gershwin) 3:03*
1 TEA FOR TWO (Vincent Youmans-Irving Caesar) 5:58
2 YOU ARE TOO BEAUTIFUL (Richard Rodgers-Lorenz Hart) 4:58
3 JUST YOU, JUST ME (Raymond Klages-Jesse Greer) 8:01
4 APRIL IN PARIS (Vernon Duke-E.Y. “Yip” Harburg) 3:20*
THELONIOUS MONK, piano
OSCAR PETTIFORD, bass
ART BLAKEY, drums
Hackensack, New Jersey, March 17 & April 3, 1956.
“Memories of You” is an unaccompanied piano performance.