Peter Levin writes from New York:
While (unlike, it appears, Jimmy Knepper) I love Monk’s music, Knepper was right about the childlike quality of a lot of Monk tunes. When one of our sons was three, Monk was his favorite composer. When we asked him why, he said it was because Monk’s music sounded like “our city” (which is New York, where we live a few blocks away from West 63rd Street, Monk’s home for many years). He could hear car horns and exhaust as well as playground chants in those tunes.
Interestingly, when he and his pals hit the pre-teen years, their primary allegiance was to Mingus, who is the only jazz artist many of our sons’ peers collect. The energy and swagger of Mingus is very appealing, at least to city kids.