Skip

Monk's birthday
October 10, 2006 9:15 AM   Subscribe

Thelonious Sphere Monk's birthday is today and WKCR will not stop playing his music untill after midnight
posted by hortense (49 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
Happy Birthday, Great One.
posted by jonmc at 9:19 AM on October 10, 2006


I think you meant, 'Round Midnight
posted by psmealey at 9:26 AM on October 10, 2006


Phil Schapp on at 1:00 PM EDT to give the complete historical perspective. I hope to learn exactly which crepuscule Monk spent with Nellie.
posted by eatitlive at 9:29 AM on October 10, 2006


A little Epistrophy (GooTube) to celebrate Monk's birthday!
posted by caddis at 9:31 AM on October 10, 2006


As usual I got the spelling wrong. It's Schaap.

Save it, Phil.
posted by eatitlive at 9:31 AM on October 10, 2006


Ahhh...! Monk. Thank you for this.
posted by O Blitiri at 9:32 AM on October 10, 2006


The best.

My favorite way to introduce someone to Monk is to play George Harrison's version of "Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea" -- the most straight-ahead rendition you can imagine -- followed by Monk's solo version. The minds, they are blown.

When I did that for my friend from a classical theory course, he just started laughing.
posted by danb at 9:33 AM on October 10, 2006 [3 favorites]


Hopefully local rock stations play David Lee Roth today until midnight as well.
posted by mathowie at 9:35 AM on October 10, 2006


Yes, psmealey "I do pretty well until after midnight" is part of the lyric and got into my typing. hope me.
a
posted by hortense at 9:36 AM on October 10, 2006


Hey! It's Daniel Pearl's birthday today too! Sphere... Pearl... eh?
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 9:42 AM on October 10, 2006


Nice! He is one of my top 4 jazz greats, along with Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock and John Coltrane. Actually, by my amazing powers of deduction, since Miles is my #1, he is my #2.




Such a unique style.
posted by unwordy at 10:05 AM on October 10, 2006


Monk is one of the few jazz dudes (Mingus is another) that made me understand why people love Jazz. 89 tek 9 (guess when I started listening to kcr) is one the last good things about New York radio.
posted by Divine_Wino at 10:06 AM on October 10, 2006


My day just got a hell of a lot better.
Thanks for this!
posted by Thorzdad at 10:06 AM on October 10, 2006


Pretty cool; thanks for the reminder. Other musical birthdays today include John Prine.
posted by TedW at 10:16 AM on October 10, 2006


caddis: GooTube!!!

also: Writing as I listen to the WKCR stream, I'm reminded why instrumental jazz always makes me feel grumpy. I just don't GET it!!! I know I could read some books that would explain it to me, but I want to respond to it viscerally like my jazz-loving friends. I've talked to a few jazz fans who said their appreciation was born almost instantly, the first time they heard some. Whereas to me it's all just fairly pleasant noodling. Grrr!
posted by Tuffy at 10:21 AM on October 10, 2006


Hopefully local rock stations play David Lee Roth today until midnight as well.

I would like to hear a Thelonious Monk version of "Panama".
posted by spicynuts at 10:21 AM on October 10, 2006


"Monk's Dream" shuffled through my ipod en route to work this morning. What a freakin' genius. Happy birthday!
posted by kosem at 10:22 AM on October 10, 2006


If a hip Martian came down to Earth and asked me to explain the feeling of jazz to him or her, Monk's recordings of "Criss Cross" (the early one, with Milt Jackson, available on The Best of the Blue Note Years ) and "Well, You Needn't" (with Coltrane and Coleman Hawkins, from Monk's Music) -- along with, you know, Miles' Kind of Blue and Charlie Parker's stuff -- would be at the top of my list.
posted by digaman at 10:35 AM on October 10, 2006


Grrr! The music was great until the last tune ended, and now the DJ has been pontificating for over *five minutes*. THAT's a big part of what turns off many listeners to jazz, the interminable "Male Answer Syndrome" DJ style, listing every damn sideman, the year the tune was composed, the year it was performed, which studio it was recorded in, which take, etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. Just STFU and play some Monk! I'm headed off to Pandora to make my own Monk station...
posted by twsf at 10:43 AM on October 10, 2006


I'll drink to that. Straight, no chaser, please.
posted by mbd1mbd1 at 10:53 AM on October 10, 2006


Phil always goes on like that. It can be quite interesting, but frequently he will talk for almost my entire drive into work and then just as I get there the music starts.
posted by caddis at 10:55 AM on October 10, 2006


I feel compelled to show up here, given the semi-eponymous nature of my username.
posted by feloniousmonk at 11:16 AM on October 10, 2006


Some Miles streams from the new album Cool and Collected. (.mov files) [from a promo email I received this morn]
posted by shoepal at 11:18 AM on October 10, 2006


Anyone know the background behind The Loneliest Monk's middle name? I mean, Sphere? What's that about?
posted by copystar at 11:35 AM on October 10, 2006


Why won't this dude stop talking and play some music!?
posted by ND¢ at 11:39 AM on October 10, 2006


Thanks for the link, hortense, although right now, the stream is all Phil talking (and talking, and talking, and talking...), not Monk.

Phil's what's wrong with jazz, Monk's what right.

mo' Monk, mo' Monk, mo' Monk, baaaaaby, Monk, mo' Monk, MO' MONK!
posted by paulsc at 11:42 AM on October 10, 2006


Can't beat some Melodious Thunk. Dimeadozen still have a well seeded television recording of the Monk Quartet on Polish television from 1966 which is really nice quality and more than worth a watch.
posted by drill_here_fore_seismics at 12:17 PM on October 10, 2006


Tuffy, my visceral appreciation for bebop was born with the assistance of our old friend Mary Jane. I guess needed to stop thinking about what I was hearing in order to start enjoying it. One such exposure and it stuck forever.

Sounds like the guy on WKCR might have taken another route, though.
posted by Superfrankenstein at 12:18 PM on October 10, 2006


Crap, how am I going to get out the house now?? (Oh wait, the DJ just started blabbing endlessly, this is my chance . . .)
posted by treepour at 12:19 PM on October 10, 2006


My god, the DJ is driving me insane. Hrm.


OK. The music just started again.
posted by mr_roboto at 12:29 PM on October 10, 2006


copystar, that reminds me: Victor Wooten has a tune called The Loneliest Monk. It took me years to figure out the reference -- I didn't hear about the MTV story until a few months ago -- even with the line "The loneliest monk / he chased a straight line, not." Friggin' Victor Wooten.
posted by danb at 12:47 PM on October 10, 2006


Phil's what's wrong with jazz

No, he's not. I've done my share of yelling at the radio while Phil pontificates, and in fact I think I've complained about him here before, but though he's a self-absorbed babbler who should be put on a much shorter leash when he's got a mike in front of him, he is in fact very good for jazz. He's helped a lot of musicians and educated a lot of people, and he plays fantastic music (sometimes music only he has access to).


Kenny G is what's wrong with jazz.
posted by languagehat at 1:23 PM on October 10, 2006 [1 favorite]


Tuffy, my visceral appreciation for bebop was born with the assistance of our old friend Mary Jane. I guess needed to stop thinking about what I was hearing in order to start enjoying it. One such exposure and it stuck forever.

agreed. mary jane taught me a lot about jazz. At some point i realized that i was listening to a voice, speaking repeating phrases and variations on phrases in a complex language i could almost understand. The emotional content however was crystal clear. and this doesn't disappear like fairy gold when you're straight.

and in a way, all music is noodling.
posted by Miles Long at 1:44 PM on October 10, 2006


Kenny G is what's wrong with jazz.

Pat Metheny can expand on that, if you like.
posted by danb at 1:45 PM on October 10, 2006


speaking of djs, for the most part, fuck em.

they can be useful if you want to know who did a song, or who was playing drums on this song or whatever, but all this data, all these numbers, tell me nothing and obscure more than they illuminate. dancing about architecture.
posted by Miles Long at 1:53 PM on October 10, 2006


Neat. Love me some Monk.
posted by bardic at 1:58 PM on October 10, 2006


--Tuffy, my visceral appreciation for bebop was born with the assistance of our old friend Mary Jane. ...

--agreed. mary jane taught me a lot about jazz.


I can't believe you guys call it Mary Jane. Nobody I know calls it that. Generational thing maybe? (I'm 36.)

RE jazz, I wonder if it comes down to how much music you heard as a child. If it was a lot, you probably have an intuitive sense of common Western chord progressions etc. With some "Mary Jane" (grin) to turn off your higher critical mind, you can sort of "feel" how jazz screws with those ingrained structures. Just a theory.
posted by Tuffy at 2:37 PM on October 10, 2006


To celebrate this illustrious occasion, why not pop open a bottle of this Fine Beer while listening to his fine tunes. Some of the money goes to a Great Cause and it's delicious to boot.
posted by Doublewhiskeycokenoice at 2:53 PM on October 10, 2006


only cause that's sort of the jazz name for it. Her. That or 'mary warner'. titter. i'm as old as you are. i just think it's a cute and quaint name.

You might be right about knowledge of music allowing you to see how the really good improvisers are able to spin off from it. Picasso's life drawings looked almost like DaVinci's. Know the rules before you can break them, and all that.

Most of the people i know who like jazz, it just suddenly clicked for them. your idea about just having 'enough' musical experience sounds like it explains that pretty well.
posted by Miles Long at 3:06 PM on October 10, 2006


I can't believe you guys call it Mary Jane.

The earliest "Mary Jane"="marijuana" is from 1928.

By the way, all you Phil haters, he has some very interesting background into Monk. Listening to Phil is like taking a class in music. He was an adjunct lecturer on Jazz at Columbia for years, although I don't think he does that anymore. As a Jaz historian he is fascinating. Nevertheless, I do sometimes just want to hear the music.
posted by caddis at 3:23 PM on October 10, 2006


"there are no wrong notes" -kinda like life.
posted by BrodieShadeTree at 4:38 PM on October 10, 2006


as a jazz pianist...yes, he is my #1 inspiration...but, to repeat what another guy said above: what kind of parents would give their child such a cosmic middle name like Sphere? I've read biographies of Coltrane, Mingus (well, auto-), Miles and Sun Ra, but never of St. Thelonious. Anybody know the story?

BTW, my daughter, 3/4 white 1/4 Japanese has a normal but not too normal name, but if she had been born male, we were considering Rahsaan. (After Rahsaan Roland Kirk.) That might have been a little strange for him. Lucky we had a daughter, I guess.

BTW, it's also Verdi's birthday today. Antonio Sphere Verdi. Aida, with elephants, to tie in with elephant post day, was his big hit. Saw it in SF. Props to their supertitles. (This was 20 years ago.)
posted by kozad at 6:44 PM on October 10, 2006


"Thelonious Sphere Monk's birthday is today and WKCR will not stop playing his music untill after midnight...

... at which time they'll immediately commence playing Eric Clapton, right?
posted by koeselitz at 7:05 PM on October 10, 2006


I have spent the evening listening to Monk on KCR, very nice. Thanks hortense, this was the post of the day, if only for alerting me to the KCR programming.
posted by caddis at 7:39 PM on October 10, 2006


...by the way, isn't this a little NYC-filter? It's always weird to me when people post stuff about radio stations as if everybody in the goddamned world could get them. Yet more evidence that New Yorkers don't really understand that there's a world that exists out here...
posted by koeselitz at 9:26 PM on October 10, 2006


koeselitz -- what the fuck? Have you ever heard of the internet? Did you read the FPP?
posted by danb at 9:40 PM on October 10, 2006


Early today I was reading the Monk post at wood s lot, and listening to WFMU, and it got noisey, so I opened my bookmark for WKCR lo they were playing Monk!(what a coincidence huh) I almost didn't post because there was only eleven hours left, Glad that everyone enjoyed the show. I am enjoying the links and comments a bunch.
posted by hortense at 10:39 PM on October 10, 2006


Just in case people aren't aware of this, this is a WKCR tradition—they spend the whole day on the birthdays of great jazz musicians. From here:
Long ago it became tradition at WKCR to play 24 hours of a jazz great's music on his/her birthday.

Max Roach
(b. January 10, 1924)

Roy Eldridge
(b. January 30, 1911; d. February 26, 1989)

Ornette Coleman
(b. March 9, 1930)

Bix Beiderbecke
(b. March 10, 1903; d. August 7, 1931)

Billie Holiday
(b. April 7, 1915; d. July 17, 1959)

Charles Mingus
(b. April 22, 1922; d. January 5, 1979)

Duke Ellington
(April 29,1899; d. May 24, 1974)

Louis Armstrong
(b. August 4, 1901; d. July 6, 1971)
(he believed his birthdate to be July 4th 1900, so we celebrate both birthdays.)

Lester Young
(b. August 27, 1909; d. March 15, 1959)

Charlie Parker
(b. August 29, 1920; d. March 12, 1955)
(combines with Lester Young to form a three-day broadcast)

John Coltrane
(b. September 23, 1926; d. July 17, 1967)

Thelonious Monk
(b. Oct. 10, 1917; d. February 17, 1982)

Clifford Brown
(b. October 30, 1930; d. June 26, 1956)

Coleman Hawkins
(b. Nov. 21, 1904; d. May 19, 1969)
So keep those dates in mind. They also do extended festivals on particular people or themes, some of which are mentioned in this (pretty old) interview with Schaap. They once did an entire week of Sun Ra; I ran home from work each day to tape more obscure sessions. A great station.

And yeah, you can listen to it on the internet from anywhere!
*rolls eyes*
posted by languagehat at 5:14 AM on October 11, 2006 [1 favorite]


Danb, languagehat: you might enjoy Richard Thompson's "I Agree With Pat Metheny" mp3.
posted by TedW at 7:41 AM on October 11, 2006


« Older You, sir, have the boorish manners of a Yalie.   |   Comment Spam Bots Draw Nice Pictures Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments



Post