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"Brilliant Corners" was Thelonious Monk’s third album for Riverside Records and the first for this label to include his own music. The complex title track, with its multiple time signature changes, required over a dozen takes in the studio, and is considered one of Monk’s most difficult compositions.
The album features such stars as Sonny Rollins and Max Roach, as well as some of the pianist/composer’s most creative writing ever. Brilliant Corners was given a five-star rating in Down Beat by renowned jazz critic Nat Hentoff, who stated that, “This is really a mood album, the kind of mood that envelops corners that can be called brilliant but are more inimitable than that increasingly indiscriminate adjective might connote. This is Riverside’s most important modern jazz LP to date.” The album also received a five-star rating in All Music Guide, with Lindsay Planer writing that, “No serious jazz collection should be without it.”
THELONIOUS MONK, piano (also celeste on B1)
SONNY ROLLINS, tenor sax
ERNIE HENRY, alto sax (on Side A & B1)
CLARK TERRY, trumpet (on B3)
OSCAR PETTIFORD, bass (on Side A & B1)
PAUL CHAMBERS, bass (on B3)
MAX ROACH, drums (also tympani on B3)
“I Surrender Dear” is an unaccompanied piano solo.
All tracks recorded in New York.
A2 & B1: October 9, 1956; A1: October 15, 1956; B2-B3: December 7, 1956.
01 BRILLIANT CORNERS
02 BA-LUE BOLIVAR BA-LUES-ARE
02 I SURRENDER, DEAR
03 BEMSHA SWING