Michael Fremer Rated 9/10 Music, 9/10 Sonics!
Heavy-Weight 180 Gram Audiophile All-Analog Pressing! Mastered by Kevin Gray & Pressed at RTI!
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With the arrival of Thelonious Sphere Monk, modern musiclet alone modern culture--simply hasnt been the same. Recognized as one of the most inventive pianists of any musical genre, Monk achieved a startlingly original sound that even his most devoted followers have been unable to successfully imitate. His musical vision was both ahead of its time and deeply rooted in tradition, spanning the entire history of the music from the stride masters of James P. Johnson and Willie the Lion Smith to the tonal freedom and kinetics of the avant garde. And he shares with Edward Duke Ellington the distinction of being one of the centurys greatest American composers. At the same time, his commitment to originality in all aspects of lifein fashion, in his creative use of language and economy of words, in his biting humor, even in the way he danced away from the pianohas led fans and detractors alike to call him eccentric, mad or even taciturn. Consequently, Monk has become perhaps the most talked about and least understood artist in the history of jazz.
After extended negotiations, Monk signed in 1962 to Columbia Records, one of the big four American record labels of the day along with RCA Victor, Capitol, and Decca. Monk's relationship with Riverside had soured over disagreements concerning royalty payments and had concluded with a brace of European live albums; he had not recorded a studio album since 5 by Monk by 5 in June 1959.
Working with producer Teo Macero on his debut for the label, the sessions in the first week of November had a stable line-up that had been with him for two years: tenor saxophonist Charlie Rouse (who worked with Monk from 1959 to 1970), bassist John Ore, and drummer Frankie Dunlop. Monk's Dream, his earliest Columbia album, was released in 1963. Columbia's resources allowed Monk to be promoted more widely than earlier in his career. Monk's Dream would become the best-selling LP of his lifetime, and on February 28, 1964, he appeared on the cover of Time magazine, being featured in the article "The Loneliest Monk".
Highly Reviewed at HiFi+ - 10 out of 10 for Recording & Music!!!
"The sound of this new issue is to die for and then some. Impex releases only a handful of LPs each year, but its track record for taste and great sound is unrivaled. Perfect in every way!" - Dennis Davis, HiFi+
"Monk's Dream is the Columbia Records debut release featuring the Thelonious Monk Quartet: Monk (piano), Charlie Rouse (tenor sax), John Ore (bass), and Frankie Dunlop (drums). Jazz scholars and enthusiasts alike also heralded this combo as the best Monk had been involved with for several years. Although he would perform and record supported by various other musicians, the tight -- almost telepathic -- dimensions that these four shared has rarely been equalled in any genre... Monk's Dream is recommended, with something for every degree of Monk enthusiast." - Lindsay Planer, Allmusic.com
"With only one horn out front to solo, we get a great double dose of Monk both as soloist and as a rhythm section player. Not that there was a hell of a lot of difference between the two in his playing, but it's wonderful to hear him briefly hanging in the back as an accompanist playing the changes and adding his angular spin on rhythm and melody as the horn player did the heavy lifting. Then he'd jump out front and you'd get these elliptical leads that twirled and jabbed, leapt and pushed... 'Monk's Dream' is the signature album by one of jazz's signature artist." - Spinner.com
"If this record doesn't get your feet tapping and your head nodding (and not as in "out"!) I'm not sure what would... The recording trades natural space for honest tonality and incredible immediacy and excellent dynamics. Where Monk solos on the standards he gets a big spread across the stage almost taken from his keyboard perspective... Here the transparency, immediacy and transient clarity surpass that of the original and without losing any of the original's more attractive qualities. The reissue is surely lower in distortion on the dynamic peaks and the blacker backgrounds heighten the instrumental relief... A great reissue and very highly recommended... If you have no Monk albums, this would be a good place to start." - Michael Fremer, www.analogplanet.com, Music 9/10, Sound 9/10!
"Produced by Teo Macero, Monk's Dream was the first LP for his new label, and would also become the best selling of Monk's career... The sound here, as compared to original mono and stereo pressings, is more dynamically nimble and present, as well as tonally somewhat cooler. But if the early LPs sound warmer, they also have a hooded coloration that floats over the sound, making them sound more homogenized, and not as lively as this fine Impex reissue." - Wayne Garcia, The Absolute Sound, Music 4/5, Sonics 3.5/5
• First Time Available on Heavy-Weight 180 Gram Vinyl
• Audiophile All-Analog Pressing
• Mastered Impeccably from the Original Master Tapes
• Mastered by Kevin Gray
• Pressed at RTI
Thelonious Monk, piano
Charlie Rouse, tenor sax
John Ore, bass
Frankie Dunlop, drums
1. Monk's Dream
2. Body And Soul
3. Bright Mississippi
4. Five Spot Blues
5. Bolivar Blues
6. Just A Gigolo
8. Sweet And Lovely