Results 1-4 of 4

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - jasoncomely - LibraryThing

Thelonious Monk was a trendsetter, musical genius and a committed family man, but not particularly controversial. There's so much mystique surrounding the guy that I guess I expected more weirdness. This one I DNF'd half-way through. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - scperryz - LibraryThing

Extremely thorough and comprehensive, at times painfully so. I love Monk but struggled through details of every member of every band during every month of his adult life. Nonetheless and sometimes in ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - richardderus - LibraryThing

I wish I'd never read this book. I now don't like Thelonious Monk, who comes across in these pages as a self-centered snot whose mental illness could and should have been medicated to ameliorate its ... Read full review

User Review - Flag as inappropriate

I thought I knew quite a bit about Thelonius and his music but after reading this book I realized that there was a lot I didn't know not only about him but about his family, friends and the musicians he worked with. Each chapter covers specific years in his life and career and is delivered in chronological order. The book details all his performances and recording dates and the author does a nice job showing how Monk rehearsed, tutored and introduced new band members to his music. One of the things unfortunately that Monk came to be know for was his perceived eccentricities and the book shows that of those things that actually occurred the source of this came mostly from his struggle with a bi-polar disorder that went undiagnosed for most of his life.
There is one aspect of the book that I think distracts from an otherwise good accounting of everything you wanted to know about Thelonius Monk and his music. The author continually tries to connect Monk’s motivations, emotions and thoughts with many of the tragic events of the 60s surrounding the civil rights movement . No doubt Monk was more than mildly troubled by the events as many of us were but the recorded quotes and answer to interview questions belies any specific concerns on his part.. In fact what comes through loud and clear is that Monk was primarily concerned with providing for his family and civil rights issues though important were not foremost in his mind.
If you want to learn about Monk and the jazz world of his time I wholeheartedly recommend this book.

User ratings

5 stars
4 stars
3 stars
2 stars
1 star

3 stars - 4
1 star - 0

Editorial reviews - 0

Kirkus - 1