5. Kris Kross: Totally Krossed Out

The top songs, albums and artists influencing an incredible year in music

A never before released concert film and audio recording of Thelonious Monk’s late-career concert at the Salle Pleyel in Paris will finally be made available to the public on 25 November 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 College of Music, Nate Hygelund—for a fresh performance. While we initially enjoyed the album in full via NPR’s first listen stream, Paris 1969 can also now be heard on Spotify. 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.