Thelonious Monk: It's Monk's Time (2003)
For once the standards are more interesting than the originals; no classic Monk tunes are featured here, only some of Monk's weaker compositions. The abrasive 'Shuffle Boil' never quite gets off the ground, and 'Stuffy Turkey' and 'Brake's Sake' are uninteresting and repetitive, respectively. However, the quartet finds inventive ways to pick through the changes and the sidemen all get ample solo time, Monk thumping out chords in the background, sounding every bit like he's playing wearing oven mitts.
Surprisingly, the best of the original tunes wasn't even on the original LP; an inspired reworking of 'Epistrophy' casts off the cacophonous horns of the version on Monk's Music for a smoother approach.
Not a great Monk record, but perhaps it has more to offer for the listener who finds some of the other Columbia releases to be rehashes of former work.
For related reviews, see Combing the Columbia/Legacy Catalog .
Track Listing: 1. Lulu?s Back in Town 2. Memories of You 3. Stuffy Turkey 4. Brake?s Sake 5. Nice Work If You Can Get It 6. Shuffle Boil 7. Epistrophy 8. Nice Work If You Can Get It (alt. take) 9. Shuffle Boil (alt. take).
Personnel: Thelonious Monk-piano; Charlie Rouse-tenor saxophone; Butch Warren-bass; Ben Riley-drums.
Record Label: Columbia Records