Thelonious Monk, the American jazz pianist and composer, needs little introduction. He had a unique improvisational style and made numerous contributions to the standard jazz repertoire…Monk is the second-most-recorded jazz composer (after Duke Ellington) and received prestigious awards for his career achievements (including a Grammy, a Pulitzer Prize and an induction into the Music Hall of Fame).
On this album — Palais Des Beaux-Arts 1963 you'll find unearthed Belgian concert-recordings from that era. The show consisted of two parts…both were recorded by the national Belgian broadcast company BRT/RTB who had the best recording-equipment on the market at the time. The set we unearthed here (the BRT recordings part) consists of tracks from said Columbia albums which have now become omnipresent Jazz standards.
Monk took the stage in his unique style with a grey wool Papakha as his hat choice. At that point unseen for the attending crowd…the showman shuffled across the stage, waving his arms as if he was about to lift off. He would take the crowd on a ride they would never forget. It was the first time Thelonious Monk played the prestigious Palais des Beaux-Arts venue in Brussels to an enthusiastic crowd of Belgian Jazz fans. Full house! The quartet delivers their set with true tight mastership (mixed with Monk's trademark improvisational avant-garde flair) and leaving room for a jaw dropping minute long drum solo mid-set. All this…and as an encore, the famous Monk solo rendition of the classic song Just a Gigolo…make this a must-have for any self-respecting Jazz aficionado.
This release is the product of an ongoing labor of love from a dedicated professional team of archivists and musical technicians who have spent 10 years carefully restoring and cleaning decades of Belgian audiovisual culture, bringing these audio-gems from their vaults in Brussels into the digital world and preserving them for future generations.
Tidal Waves Music now proudly presents Thelonious Monk's Palais Des Beaux-Arts 1963. This unique piece of musical history is a collaboration between the Tidal Waves Music label, the VRT (Flemish Radio and Television organization) and Bozar (Centre for Fine Arts Brussels) with full approval of the Thelonious Monk Estate. This concert album comes as a deluxe 180-gram vinyl edition with obi strip. Also included is an exact reproduction of the original concert poster from 1963.