Featured in Michael Fremer's Heavy Rotation in the March 2006 Issue of Stereophile!
A forgotten November 1957 Carnegie Hall concert taped by Voice Of America radio has been discovered by the Library of Congress with two appearances by the Thelonious Monk Quartet with John Coltrane.
These two 25-minute, five-tune sets feature the quartet in great fidelity and unbelievable form. The empathy and invention of the group here far surpasses the Riverside session, made months earlier. Playing together every night for 18 weeks sharpened the skills and interaction of these brilliant musicians. Monk's piano playing has never sound like this; his arpeggios are virtuosic and each note rings with clarity on the Carnegie Hall piano. Coltrane had fully mastered Monk's music by this time. In the confines of short playing times (most tunes are 4 to 6 minutes in duration), he plays with a fervid intensity trying to cram all his ideas into a brief amount of time. Ahmed Abdul-Malik and Shadow Wilson play the intricate arrangements with fluidity and push the soloists to great heights. Thanks to the clarity and presence of Wilson's drums on this recording, his work will be a revelation to anyone who had not had the fortune to see him live.
This LP was mastered from the original 15 ips mono analog tapes by Kevin Hodge at the Master Cutting Room and pressed at RTI in Camarillo on 200-gram virgin vinyl.
Thelonious Monk, piano
John Coltrane, tenor saxophone
Ahmed Abdul-Malik, bass
Shadow Wilson, drums
1. Monk's Mood
3. Crepuscule With Nellie
7. Sweet And Lovely
8. Blue Monk
9. Epistrophy (incomplete)
Recorded on November 29, 1957 by Voice of America at Carnegie Hall, New York City.