Just Released, a 1969 Thelonious Monk Recording Still Feels Fresh

Monk performs in Paris.Pierre Leloir courtesy of Blue Note Records

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Thelonious Monk
Paris 1969
Blue Note

By 1969, the great jazz pianist Thelonious Monk was in many ways past his creative prime. Once a leader of the vanguard, he was now one of the music’s elders, and his core repertoire had remained essentially the same for many years, with no new ground left to break.

None of this should deter Monk fanatics from digging the highly entertaining Paris 1969, previously unreleased recordings from a French TV show. However familiar, songs like the playful “Epistrophy” and the tender “Ruby My Dear” remain fresh and inviting. Monk and his longtime sidekick, tenor saxophonist Charlie Rouse, still find tantalizing wrinkles in time-tested melodies, while the much-younger, albeit less accomplished, rhythm section of bassist Nate Hygelund and drummer Paris Wright injects a welcome shot of energy. Along with the CD, there’s a DVD of the performances, plus an interview, but the music itself—encompassing old-school stride and angular reinventions of classic melodies—is its own deeply satisfying reward, requiring no visual aids.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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