One King, and notable seekers in the School of Monk

I was scavenging through the old web site (1996-2004) and came across a page of recommended recordings having to do with what I term The School of Monk. In turn, The School of Monk has to do with the Kingdom of Ellington.

Without getting into it at all, it is enough to tell you that my love for jazz piano is primarily oriented to the synthesis obtained by Ellington, Monk, and those pianists who followed in their giant foot steps.

What follows is a brief selection of recommended recordings by one King and by notable seekers in the School of Monk. In an updated addendum, I will feature the cream of Monk’s recordings and update the list of followers to reflect the 17 years that have flown by since this listing was first published.

I also will re-publish the Monk materials featured on the old web site.

The King: Duke Ellington’s Piano Gems

1. Duke Ellington 1940-41 [including the Ellington-Blanton duets] (RCA/BMG)
2. Money Jungle (Blue Note)
3. Duke Ellington-Billy Strayhorn Duos (OJC-Fantasy)
4. Duke Ellington Trios (Capitol)
5. This One’s For Blanton (Pablo-Fantasy)
6. Live at the Whitney (GRP)

The School of Monk:
Three exemplars from the Fifties and Sixties
1. Herbie Nichols – The Third World (op:Blue Note; fully reissued on CD in ’97)
2. Carl Perkins – Introducing… (reissue: Fresh Sounds)
3. Elmo Hope – Plays Elmo Hope (reissue: Fresh Sounds)

The Best Teachers of the Moment
1. Jaki Byard – To Them, To Us (Soul Note)
2. Don Pullen – The Fifth Sense (Black Saint)
3. Stan Tracey – Plays Duke Ellington (Mole Jazz)
4. Horace Tapscott – The Tapscott Sessions, Vol. 1-8 (Nimbus)
5. Jimmy Rowles – As Long As There’s Music (op:Xanadu)
6. Kenny Barron – Two As One (Red)
7. Andrew Hill – Shades (Soul Note)
8. Tommy Flanagan – Thelonica (Enja)
9. Walter Davis – In Walked Thelonious (Mapleshade)

Path Weavers and Dancers
1. Irene Schweizer – with Andrew Cyrille (Intakt)
2. Marilyn Crispell – with Irene Schweizer; Overlapping Hands (FMP)
3. Geri Allen – Twenty One (Blue Note)
4. Jessica Williams – And Then There’s This (Timeless)

At the Feet of the Master
Cecil Taylor
1. The Feel Trio (FMP)
2. Looking: Berlin version (FMP)
3. Garden (Hat Art)

Randy Weston
1. Portraits of Monk (Verve)
2. In the Cool Night of Marrakesh (Verve)
3. The Spirits of Our Ancestors (Verve)

Mal Waldron
1. Super Quartet with Steve Lacy at Sweet Basil (Evidence)
2. Moods (Enja)
3. Git-Go (Soul Note)

Abdullah Ibrahim
1.. African Dawn (Enja)
2. Fats, Duke and Monk (Sackville)
3. Autobiography (Plainesphere)


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