Thelonious Monk: The Complete Prestige Recordings
Any Monk collection without the Prestige dates is missing the pianist’s early partnership with Art Blakey, who is considered by many musicians and critics to have been Monk’s ideal drummer. As mentioned in the Rifftides Labor Day 2018 posting of their recording of Monk’s composition “Work,” this set captures the two collaborating in the Monk staples “Little Rootie Tootie,” “Bye-Ya,” and “Monk’s Dream.” The box also contains classic Monk recordings with Sonny Rollins, Miles Davis, French horn master Julius Watkins, drummer Max Roach and bassist Percy Heath, among others. A highlight among highlights: Monk’s unaccompanied, determined, piano solo on “Just A Gigolo.” The informative liner notes by Peter Keepnews are a bonus. The Prestige Monk box is a basic collectors item.