This album was recorded live at the Five Spot Cafe in New York City in August 1958 with Monk on piano, Johnny Griffin on sax, Ahmed Abdul-Malik on bass and Roy Haynes on drums.
There are re-workings of his earlier compositions (it should be axiomatic that Monk is a constantly self-renewing composer-arranger-musician, that each new recording of an "old" number, particularly with different personnel, represents a fresh view of it--almost a new composition).
There is one new piece: "Blues Five Spot." As that title emphasizes, this album (like Thelonious In Action) was recorded on-the-spot during Monk's 1958 engagement at New York's coloful Five Spot Cafe. Thus there is also a brief unaccompanied version of a standard ("Just a Gigolo"); characteristic of the way Thelonious opens most of his sets in a club.
The title selected for this album--Misterioso--is more than just the name of one of its numbers. It is an extremely Monk-like song title, evoking by its mild play on words (linking "mist" and "mystery") another basic characteristic of his music at this or any other time, that feeling of challenge and depth that leads a writer like Gunther Schuller to describe Thelonious quite aptly as "enigmatic and wonderful".
Pressed at Rainbo Records
Thelonious Monk, piano
Johnny Griffin, tenor saxophone
Ahmed Abdul-Malik, bass
Roy Haynes, drums
2. Blues Five Spot
3. Let's Cool One
4. In Walked Bud
5. Just A Gigolo