0757. Thelonius Monk
Ah, my nemesis, we meet again. Instrumental jazz is for me one of the most difficult genres (or rather: it's several of the most difficult genres) to review due to the difference between the knowledge I posses and the knowledge required to fully analyze it.
For example, let me quote a bit from the Wikipedia entry on the
last composition on the album, Bemsha Swing:
"The chordal movement by contrast suggests a C Major tonality
rather than C Spanish phrygian, its relative minor f (melodic
or harmonic), or its relative Major, A♭ Major. However, the
song ends on a D♭maj7 (#11) rather than a C chord, a
displacement which is characteristic of Monk compositions."
To which I say (and I mean it from the bottom of my heart: Dude, what?
But, and I can't stress this enough, what I do hear in the music is lovely dissonance and other well-phrased friction for the ears, played in harmony (of sorts) with lovely melodies and pauses.
Reading up on it I'm not amazed that this was put in the U.S.
Library of Congress for it's contribution to American music.
I mean, Thelonius is the (per written song) most covered jazz cat in the world.