Live in Amsterdam, May 1961 - Bussum, April 1961
Dutch Jazz Archives
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AN UNISSUED CONCERT FROM MONK'S QUARTET FIRST EUROPEAN TOUR IN EXCELLENT SOUND QUALITY!
DIGIPACK EDITION - INCLUDES 6 BONUS TRACKS
CHARLIE ROUSE, tenor sax
THELONIOUS MONK, piano
JOHN ORE, bass
FRANKIE DUNTOP, drums
[1-7] Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, May 20, 1961
[8-13] Studio Irene, Bussum, April 15, 1961
01. Jackie-ing (8:05)
02. Straight No Chaser (11:49)
03. Crepuscule with Nellie (2:33)
04. Well You Needn't (6:33)
05. Rhythm-a-Ning (9:10)
06. Body and Soul (4:43)
07. Just A Gigolo (2:07)
08. Crepuscule with Nellie (2:28) (*)
09. Rhythm-a-Ning (7:36) (*)
10. I Mean You (5:20) (*)
11. Nutty (6:24) (*)
12. Bemsha Swing (4:43) (*)
13. Epistrophy (Theme) (1:11) (*)
(*) Bonus tracks
Total Time: 72:50
Monk's first European trip, his 1954 visit to France, was a complete failure. The public wasn't prepared for his music, and he got a cool reception. While European audiences might not have been prepared for Monk's music in 1954, when he returned there in 1961, for his first extensive European tour with his own group, things had changed dramatically. By then, the pianist was a true star and his albums had been widely heard throughout the world. In his Thelonious Monk biography, The Life and Times of an American Original, Robin D.G. Kelley made the following observation: “It is startling to think that, at the age forty-three, the internationally acclaimed Thelonious Monk had only crossed the Atlantic once before, and that was seven years earlier. He felt excited, partly because he was to see more than Paris, and partly because impresario George Wein was paying him as much or more than he would receive in a week at a night club. But mostly because he was taking [his wife] Nellie. The European tour was a landmark event in Monk's career, as well as George Wein's.”
Monk began the tour on April 14, 1960, playing with his quartet (Charlie Rouse on tenor sax, John Ore on bass, and Frankie Dunlop on drums) at the Essen Jazz Festival in Essen, Germany. On April 15 the group played Amsterdam's Concertgebouw, a concert that was recorded and eventually issued. Before that concert, the group had made a TV show in Bussum, from which the music of the bonus tracks here come from. But Monk would return to Amsterdam's Concertgebouw later on May 20, 1961 to play a second concert, which would remain unissued until now and conforms the main part of the present release.
All of this music is released here in excellent sound quality, showcasing the great Monk in one of his great nights.