Thelonious Monk

Thelonious Sphere Monk (Rocky Mount, North Carolina 10th October 1917 - Hartsdale, New York 17th February 1982) was a jazz pianist and composer.

Widely considered as one of the most important musicians in jazz -- he is one of only five jazz musicians to be featured on the cover of Time -- Monk had a unique improvisational style and made numerous contributions to the standard jazz repertoire, including "Epistrophy," "'Round Midnight," "Blue Monk," "Straight No Chaser" and "Well, You Needn't."

He could play be-bop but commented that be-bop "sounds like dixieland to me." His compositions and improvisations are full of dissonant harmonies and angular melodic twists, and are impossible to separate from Monk's unorthodox approach to the piano, which combined a highly percussive...

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