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A small window into the soul of Thelonious
#3014205 08/15/20 11:51 AM
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It is worth focusing especially on the interaction of the piano and the entire ensemble from the first head and in the last head from 6:58. There are 3 situations : a synchronized playing , an unsynchronized playing , and an cessation of playing .These are like changes in a film frame: general shot, close shot, blackening of a fragment: and the transitions are unexpected and very fast. This is fundamentally different from the traditional bebop comps; can even create a sense of chaos. No chaos: everything is the result of accurate calculation, although not on paper !
And most importantly, it requires the ability to focus on the full sound picture on the time vector (Mozart mentioned this): the story of Monk's solo, consisting of one single sound, sounds believable. Judging by the story of the witness, Coltrane also possessed this quality.

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Re: A small window into the soul of Thelonious
Nahum #3014300 08/15/20 04:42 PM
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Hi Nahum

What a great track.

This is one of my favourite Monk compositions. I can't analyse this on your level, but I love the melody, and obviously it's a great band. Apart from Art Blakey who else is playing?

How is it that Monk could essentially write very simple, almost nursery rhyme themes, and turn them into great music? A combination of harmony and rhythm no doubt.

Incidentally the great British Jazz Pianist Stan Tracey used to play this regularly in his set. He was the house Pianist at Ronnie Scotts in the 1960s and was heavily influenced by Monk and Ellington.

Cheers


Simon
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Play what you enjoy listening to, listen to what you enjoy playing!




Re: A small window into the soul of Thelonious
Nahum #3014302 08/15/20 04:47 PM
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I’m getting an error message ‘video not available’


"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin
"I never dreamt with my own two hands I could touch the sky" - Sappho

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Re: A small window into the soul of Thelonious
dogperson #3014404 08/15/20 11:59 PM
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Originally Posted by dogperson
I’m getting an error message ‘video not available’
It is worth checking the reason for this; we have no problems.

Re: A small window into the soul of Thelonious
Simon_b #3014464 08/16/20 07:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Simon_b
Hi Nahum

What a great track.

This is one of my favourite Monk compositions. I can't analyse this on your level, but I love the melody, and obviously it's a great band. Apart from Art Blakey who else is playing?

How is it that Monk could essentially write very simple, almost nursery rhyme themes, and turn them into great music? A combination of harmony and rhythm no doubt.

Incidentally the great British Jazz Pianist Stan Tracey used to play this regularly in his set. He was the house Pianist at Ronnie Scotts in the 1960s and was heavily influenced by Monk and Ellington.

Cheers
Analyzing Monk's music in general is no less than two dissertations: musicological and psychological; and on many pages. He definitely deserves it; however, I focused the beam on a very specific area of ​​precomposed comping in the theme itself. It becomes clear that the comp is an organic part of the composed melody, and not a spontaneous addition. To get a feel for its role requires a detailed analysis of the shape of the tune and the ratio of the comp to strong and weak bars, as well as strong and weak beats . Comping looms like a mummy, where a small part of the body is preserved, and a lot of bones are missing in the remaining skeleton; however, it fits organically, albeit extraordinarily, into the overall sound picture.

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Re: A small window into the soul of Thelonious
Nahum #3014467 08/16/20 07:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Nahum
Originally Posted by dogperson
I’m getting an error message ‘video not available’
It is worth checking the reason for this; we have no problems.


Probably banned in US. This is a guess because I have no way to investigate; the only other poster in this thread is from the UK.


"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin
"I never dreamt with my own two hands I could touch the sky" - Sappho

It's ok to be a Work In Progress
Re: A small window into the soul of Thelonious
Simon_b #3014551 08/16/20 12:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Simon_b
Hi Nahum

What a great track. How is it that Monk could essentially write very simple, almost nursery rhyme themes, and turn them into great music? A combination of harmony and rhythm no doubt.

This is a big question! T.M. suffered from autism, which was expressed in obsessive behavior (spinning around on stage), and no less naturally, in obsessive repetitive musical ideas. At first glance, the repetition of rhythmic and melodic motifs exactly corresponds to what is called "riffing" in jazz, but Monk's rhythmic repetitions very often do not correspond to the general meter, and break it, sometimes very roughly - Straight, No Chaser, Evidence. What is amazing is that M. always had a strong sense of form, and he was never wrong. At times it sounds like coordinating the timing of spoken language in melody within the form of song standards in 16 and 32 bars. In such conditions, the motives and submotives themselves can be very simple, even primitive - the presence of an entourage of sophistic structures with no less sophistic chords is enough.

Re: A small window into the soul of Thelonious
Nahum #3014610 08/16/20 04:02 PM
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Let's be careful of diagnoses ...

theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2010/03/the-secret-life-of-thelonious-monk/38128/

"You make a very strong case for your conclusion that Monk was a manic-depressive. Does that go against the consensus regarding his eccentric behavior?

There really hasn't been a consensus. Just a lot of contradictory assertions—autism, Tourette's Syndrome, all sorts of things. The diagnoses in his medical records range from schizophrenia to, eventually, what we know today as bipolar disorder. I try to be very careful in discussing the way the medical profession understood his problems. The science of chemical imbalances was not very sophisticated during Monk's lifetime."

We really don't know what the correct diagnosis of Monk would be; we're largely working on hearsay and sketchy medical science of the times ...


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Re: A small window into the soul of Thelonious
Nahum #3014635 08/16/20 05:40 PM
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Originally Posted by TheophilusCarter
Let's be careful of diagnoses ...

theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2010/03/the-secret-life-of-thelonious-monk/38128/

"You make a very strong case for your conclusion that Monk was a manic-depressive. Does that go against the consensus regarding his eccentric behavior?

There really hasn't been a consensus. Just a lot of contradictory assertions—autism, Tourette's Syndrome, all sorts of things. The diagnoses in his medical records range from schizophrenia to, eventually, what we know today as bipolar disorder. I try to be very careful in discussing the way the medical profession understood his problems. The science of chemical imbalances was not very sophisticated during Monk's lifetime."

We really don't know what the correct diagnosis of Monk would be; we're largely working on hearsay and sketchy medical science of the times ...
Thanks for the link!


I am, of course, not a doctor, and am content with what I read and what I met, but:
1. No one claims that T. M was psychically completely normal.
2. "manic-depressive" - you write this, I wrote "obsession"; and this can happen in normal people under certain conditions.
3. Not far from me lived a taxi driver who behaved on the street exactly like T.M.. : walked, spun around himself, and besides, he talked to himself. I don’t know who gave him the driving license ; in the county was aware that he is autistic, but not in severe form, they even made a film about him ( no, he didn't play jazz. but participated in the Elvis Presley impersonator competition ).

In an article about T.M. I first learned some of the details of his treatment, and I knew immediately that the drugs had hit his creativity - even before I read the corresponding sentence. As for his relationship with music, I have not found anything new for myself. If you put together his live performances and various biographical facts scattered across the Internet and films, you get the image of a musician who knew exactly what he wanted and made great efforts to achieve this - which is expressed in the smallest details of his playing, you just need to listen and very many times! A very good hint was the mention of his collaboration with Hall Overton, when their joint music-making turned into something like a lesson, where T.M. first started talking about overtones (sorry for the pun - not my fault!).Did the author mention the fact that Monk studied at Juilliard? By the way, the term "wrong notes" by the author of the article sounds just amateurish. IMO, he doesn't play jazz.

Last edited by Nahum; 08/16/20 05:42 PM.
Re: A small window into the soul of Thelonious
Nahum #3014804 08/17/20 09:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Nahum
2. "manic-depressive" - you write this ...

I did not. That's from a quote from the article. That's Kelley's best guess from all available evidence, but his main point is that we don't really know.

Originally Posted by Nahum
3. Not far from me lived a taxi driver who behaved on the street exactly like T.M..

Again, I'd caution against diagnoses by us amateurs based on anecdotal experiences.

Originally Posted by Nahum
Did the author mention the fact that Monk studied at Juilliard?
It's been about a year since I read the biography, but I don't recall this. It's my understanding that it's a myth that Monk attended Juilliard, but I'm not going to put any money on it.


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Re: A small window into the soul of Thelonious
Nahum #3014806 08/17/20 09:10 AM
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Originally Posted by TheophilusCarter
Originally Posted by Nahum
Did the author mention the fact that Monk studied at Juilliard?
It's been about a year since I read the biography, but I don't recall this. It's my understanding that it's a myth that Monk attended Juilliard, but I'm not going to put any money on it.
This is by no means a myth: many years ago I independently entered in the Internet in the lists of students at Juilliard; there were the names of Miles and Thelonious.

https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/signs.html

Last edited by Nahum; 08/17/20 09:13 AM.
Re: A small window into the soul of Thelonious
Nahum #3014826 08/17/20 09:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Nahum
This is by no means a myth: many years ago I independently entered in the Internet in the lists of students at Juilliard; there were the names of Miles and Thelonious.
Like I said, I don't know myself, but I'd certainly be interested in any citations. A quick Google search turns up contradictory results.

Thanks, I'm aware of what autism is and its typical signs. My skepticism is reserved for attempts by non-professionals to diagnose someone they've never met, much less formally assessed, especially given all the contradictory hearsay about Monk's behavior.


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Re: A small window into the soul of Thelonious
Nahum #3015062 08/18/20 04:30 AM
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TheophilusCarter , if you are a psychiatrist and you also play jazz, then say it bluntly: this discussion may lead in unexpected directions (the only psychiatrist and jazz pianist I know is Denny Zeitlin).As far as I understand, and I may be wrong, to study a patient requires, on the one hand, to find out what is happening in his organism , on the other hand, to make personal contact in order to get acquainted with his behavior - on a verbal and non-verbal level.In the end, the diagnosis is made on the totality of all surveys.
Everything that happened in Monk's body is completely hidden for us; it is the prerogative of doctors; remains only an information in printed sources and on the Internet, the reliability of which is always accompanied by a question mark.
What is related to non-verbal behavior - facial expressions and body language, is open to everyone, and can be interpreted in ways that each of us uses as part of the human community.This is part of the profession of any teacher (which I am also).
In verbal contact with Monk, we cannot participate, only observe from the side; but even here the closest to Monk, Charlie Rouse, did not always understand what he said at once.
However, instead of verbal behavior, Monk left us the opportunity to observe his musical behavior. This is a lot, and lends itself to "diagnostics" of music teachers or experienced musicians with a jazz education .

Re: A small window into the soul of Thelonious
Nahum #3015103 08/18/20 08:22 AM
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Thanks for the response. Sounds like you agree with me: we don't really know.

Last edited by TheophilusCarter; 08/18/20 08:28 AM.

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Re: A small window into the soul of Thelonious
Nahum #3015123 08/18/20 10:16 AM
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“Monk's reasons for dancing during a performance: "I get tired sitting down at the piano! That way I can dig the rhythm better.”
― Thelonious Monk
“Writing about music is like dancing about architecture.”
― Thelonious Monk
“You've been making the wrong mistakes.”
― Thelonious Monk

“Don't play everything (or every time); let some things go by… What you don't play can be more important than what you do.”
― Thelonious Monk

“I’m famous. Ain’t that a bitch?”
― Thelonious Monk

Re: A small window into the soul of Thelonious
TheophilusCarter #3019305 08/30/20 10:07 AM
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Originally Posted by TheophilusCarter
Originally Posted by Nahum
Did the author mention the fact that Monk studied at Juilliard?
It's been about a year since I read the biography, but I don't recall this. It's my understanding that it's a myth that Monk attended Juilliard, but I'm not going to put any money on it.

A little effort can be made and more than one printed source will open up:

Thelonious Monk - Life and Influences

https://sail.cnu.edu/omeka/files/original/84384a17fb797e6c510bd1eaa544b504.pdf
p.5

Re: A small window into the soul of Thelonious
Nahum #3019339 08/30/20 11:44 AM
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William Hanson Falk Seminar Spring 2008 Thelonious Monk: Life and Influence

quote "his mother was a church singer, and his father a swing and big band-era amateur pianist. The various types of church music Monk was exposed to include Methodist, Episcopal, and Baptist; he was particularly influenced by the Afiican-American Baptist hymns"

I can't count the number of times when I read about how some of the great jazz artists church was their primary exposure to music. Thelonious to Jerry Lee Lewis all the bad boys of jazz can be sum up with this quote

John Garcia Gensel Pastor Gensel began, more than 30 years ago, a jazz ministry that took church to jazz and brought jazz to church. It has been a lifelong improvisation that has produced a "joyful noise,
"Pastor Gensel often recalls what the drummer Max Roach once told him about jazz artists and religion:" "Many of my friends believe, but they don't belong."

Re: A small window into the soul of Thelonious
dogperson #3019387 08/30/20 01:31 PM
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Originally Posted by dogperson
Probably banned in US. This is a guess because I have no way to investigate; the only other poster in this thread is from the UK.

I’m also in the US I think it’s banned here. Nahum can you list the song/album and track? Maybe we can find it if it on YouTube on amazon Music or another media outlet? Always love your insite into music, and a big fan of Monk. smile

Sorry to be a pain, US copyright laws play havoc on YouTube videos sometimes, even when it’s supposed to be educational.

Re: A small window into the soul of Thelonious
Nahum #3019404 08/30/20 02:17 PM
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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Art_Blakey%27s_Jazz_Messengers_with_Thelonious_Monk


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nw8nknfFeSk

Last edited by Nahum; 08/30/20 02:18 PM.
Re: A small window into the soul of Thelonious
Nahum #3019420 08/30/20 02:51 PM
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Check this video out MONK dancing

https://youtu.be/XjJYeCYO-hA

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