1001 Albums You Must Hear (and Blog about) Before You Die

My attempt to blog all of the entries from the book 1001 Albums to Hear Before You Die

992. Brilliant Corners – Thelonious Monk

Brief Background: Recorded in three session in late 1956 and released in 1957 Brilliant Corners is considered Monk’s masterpiece. The title track was unsuccessfully tried 24 times, with the album version a pieced together version of those takes. The album is known for its nontraditional song structure and being a classic hard bop jazz album.

What I liked: The last minute of each song was kind of interesting!

What I Didn’t Like: Well…. most of it actually. The music for the most part sounds to me like the band at Normandale when they are warming up. In Brilliant corners the drummer (Roach) often plays seemingly random parts that just don’t make sense to me, the piano will tinkle away for awhile and then the sax will toot some. ….and then it sometimes comes together at the last minute to a more traditional crescendo.

My Overall Thoughts: I just don’t get it. I feel like somebody forgot to tell me what I’m supposed to be listening for. It’s interesting to read that he was possibly suffering from Schizophrenia, because I can hear that. Can you offer me many any help? Is it the old, “what is important is what the aren’t playing”? I don’t understand what that means. Really…somebody please help.

Do I agree or disagree with the writers as to this being an album you must listen to? Oddly enough I do think it should be here. Simply based off of Monk’s reputation and influence, just because I don’t get it doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be included.

Rating (Out of 5): 2/5

Amazon Review (Out of 5): 5

Is this my first time hearing this album? Yes (10/10)


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This entry was posted on December 5, 2013 by and tagged .

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