Jason Moran, in a Monkish mood @ CAP UCLA

Featured · Music
“The horn is blowing according to what the drummer is playing, you know?” –Thelonious Monk to Hall Overton, 1959 Thelonious Monk’s 1959 Town Hall concert was an artistic landmark and a personal triumph for the iconoclastic pianist and composer. His pieces, conceived for the small ensemble format, had been orchestrated for the evening by the ...

Thelonious Monk, dancer

Dance · Music
Just as James P. Johnson, George Gershwin, Fletcher Henderson and Duke Ellington took musical inspiration from New York City, it’s impossible to divorce pianist/composer Thelonious Monk’s music from Gotham. In Monk, the erotic and the athletic intertwine at the Savoy Ballroom, subways vibrate with propulsive rhythms, congregational choirs shake church foundations, young girls skip rope ...

Monk lives … at UCLA

The Herb Alpert juggernaut of extraordinary arts philanthropy surges on the news that The Herb Alpert Foundation has  again spurred jazz education at the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music. The school will join forces with the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, a nonprofit organization devoted to jazz education now based in New Orleans. For ...

Thelonious Monk’s piano 4

Amidst the brouhaha over Polish pianist Krystian Zimerman’s anti-U.S. protest during a recital at Disney Hall, arts•meme was struck by this information nugget in Mark Swed’s L.A. Times story: Zimerman is a magnificent obsessive.  He travels with his own Steinway, is his own piano technician, and even his own truck driver.  He typically spends half a year ...