Thelonious Monk

Paris 1969


A never-before-released audio recording of Thelonious Monk’s late-career concert at Paris’ Salle Pleyel is finally available from Blue Note Records. Monk, a self-taught musician, was 52 years old at the time but balanced the quartet with two new young members—17-year-old drummer Paris Wright, and student bassist from Berklee, Nate Hygelund—for a fresh performance. Listen out for Monk’s attraction to dissonant harmonies and unusual rhythms that he subtly slips in, and the way he almost attacks the piano recklessly but with allure.