Lagniappe*: Thelonious Monk

Thelonious Monk with Charlie Rouse, Butch Warren and Frankie Dunlop in Japan in 1963, playing “Epistrophy.”

*la·gniappe (lan-yap), noun
Chiefly Southern Louisiana and Southeast Texas . 1.a small gift to a customer by way of compliment or for good measure; bonus. 2.a gratuity or tip. unexpected or indirect benefit.

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  1. SeptemberintheRain says

    Sounds like lan-yapping to me, and certainly not in a bad way. Thx for the linguistic excursion.

  2. Terence Smith says

    I think Monk was reportedly using “Epistrophy” as a closing theme for his sets at Minton’s back in 1941, first copyrighting as “Fly Right” in the summer of 1941. Isn’t it on some of the Jerry Newman tapes, under a different title?

    The word means “a deliberate repitition for effect”, or some such. Check out how differently Monk interprets this theme at the end of two successive sets on “Live in Action at the Five Spot” (1958).

    A look back at Monk feels like a glimpse of the future. Lagniappe indeed!