At Carnegie Hall

Thelonious Monk Quartet with John Coltrane. <i>Blue Note</i>.

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Until now, the short-lived alliance of jazz pioneers Monk and Coltranecould be heard only on a handful of studio tracks and a low-fi nightclub recording. This exhilarating, recently discovered, late-’57 concert enhances the picture. With his angular, elegant piano solos, Monk had already transformed traditional influences such as stride into a modern, idiosyncratic style. Though years from the sheets of noise that would spark raging controversy, and still do, tenor saxophonist Coltrane displays a smoldering, restless intensity diametrically opposed to Monk’s playful ease. Ostensibly the junior partner, Coltrane regularly upstages his host. On Monk originals like “Epistrophy” and “Crepuscule with Nellie,” and the dazzling nine-minute version of the standard “Sweet and Lovely,” Coltrane eagerly bends the sturdy melodies, inserting notes that might ring false in less skilled hands. Meanwhile, Monk seems characteristically unruffled, providing a cool, refreshing counterpoint.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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