The unforgettable 1959 Thelonious Monk Orchestra concert at Town Hall will have a 50th anniversary recreation next month at the scene of the event in New York City. Preserved on a famous Riverside album and performed by jazz repertory orchestras everywhere, Monk’s compositions in orchestrations by Hall Overton are perennially fresh, full of ensemble performance challenges and of opportunities for soloists. Reissued every few years on LP, then on CD, the recording is a basic repertoire item, as timeless as Bach, Stravinsky or Charlie Parker.
For information about the February 26-27 concerts by two bands – Charles Tolliver’s and Jason Moran’s – click here. While you’re on the page, scroll down to trigger audio performances of “Friday The 13th” by Tolliver’s band and “Little Rootie Tootie” by Moran’s at Duke University’s Following Monk celebration last fall.
In this promotional but nonetheless informative, piece of video, Orrin Keepnews talks about the Town Hall concert. Keepnews was a partner in Riverside Records and oversaw the recording.
And, to save you the trouble of seeking out the second part of the Keepnews story of Monk at Town Hall, here it is. Don’t be put off by the repeated introduction. It is the same on all segments of Bret Primack’s Keepnews interview series: