Thelonious Monk

The Columbia Years (1962-1968) Live at the Jazz Workshop Monk in Tokyo (Columbia/Legacy)

For jazz scribes and musicians both, the mid-'60s were a heady time, where every chord change was shrouded in scholarly meaning. Perhaps what stuck in the craw of most folks then -- and what lingers to this day -- was Monk's refusal to change. He was steadfast in his belief that bebop was supposed to be a celebration and, therefore, he leapfrogged right past the expected jaw-clenching seriousness of the music. If critics found his Columbia excursions lacking in depth or transition, it's only because they weren't listening.

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