Straight, No Chaser: The Life and Genius of Thelonious Monk

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Schirmer Books, 1997 - Biography & Autobiography - 340 pages
First English-language biography of a legendary and compelling jazz artist

Thelonious Monk was one of jazz's towering figures. Pianist and bandleader, he led the legendary jam sessions at Harlem's Minton's Playhouse where, along with Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie, he helped mold the nascent style of bebop. Monk's compositions 'Round Midnight; Straight, No Chaser; Blue Monk; Misterioso; Rhythma-ning; and countless others have become classics in the jazz repertoire. Monk's piano playing -- widely emulated and praised -- was so unique that it has never been equaled. His personal life was also unique, including a long battle with depression and mental illness that finally led to his total withdrawal from recording and music making years before his tragic death. This book tells Monk's story based on first-hand interviews with the musicians who worked with him, along with the participation of his son, T.S., and other family members. It discusses both his musical and personal lives in frank detail, and illuminates one of the most important jazz player's of our time.
-- Written with the full cooperation of Monk's family
-- Explains, for the first time, Monk's final, six-year withdrawal from performance

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STRAIGHT, NO CHASER: The Life and Genius of Thelonious Monk

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A ramshackle biography of the legendary jazz innovator. Gourse (Madame Jazz, 1995, etc.) has researched Monk's life thoroughly, interviewing his surviving family members and musical cohorts, as well ... Read full review


Growing Up in Manhattan
Finding His Voice in the 1940s
k Along Came Blue Note

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About the author (1997)

About the Author:
Leslie Gourse is a freelance writer whose books on jazz includeSassy: The Life of Sarah Vaughan, Unforgettable: The Life and Mystique of Nat King Cole, and Louis's Children, an acclaimed history of jazz singing. In 1991, she received an ASCAP-Deems Taylor Award for a series of articles on women

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