Eric Felten writes from Washington, DC:
I enjoyed the Monk posts, and it reminded me of a gig I did years ago with Jimmy Knepper. He was an incredibly distinctive musician, and as quirky, interesting, and difficult as a person as was his trombone playing. Before this particular gig with Jimmy I suggested we play some Monk tune (I don’t remember which), and Jimmy just put that puzzled (and slightly dismayed) look on his face before pronouncing: “You know, nobody’s willing to say it, but lot’s of Monk’s stuff is just plain stupid.” Then, in a mocking tone, he sang “Green Chimneys” — “Na, na, na, na, n-na, na; Na, na, na, na-Nah” — emphasizing the in-your-face monotony of it. Then he gave “Straight No Chaser” the same treatment.
We didn’t do any Monk on the gig.