Listening Log – [Pt. IV]- Thelonious Monk- Four in One (1951)

Thelonious Monk- Four in One.


Thelonious Monk- Four in One (1951)

Listening Log – [Pt. IV]- Thelonious Monk- Four in One (1951). Throughout March- April 2020 Listened to audio CD box set 1994: ‘Thelonious Monk- The Complete Blue Note Recordings’. (1994) On: Blue Note. Performer: Thelonious Monk.

Thelonious Monk is another jazz composer/pianist well known for writing music using, or including, the whole-tone scales for flavour. His song ‘Four in One’ is one of the more well-known examples.  It opens up with a bluesy 5/4 section playing a very bluesy lick and then shifts into demisemi quaver runs up and down one of the whole-tone scales (C, D, E, F#, A, B). The whole section then repeats. After this there is a section with extended large chords and jumps to far flung keys.

The entire ‘song’ thus far is then repeated several times over. On top the various band members start taking improvised solos. First the alto sax solos and then the vibraphone. It is how the piece builds until the end, all the while the whole-tone scale returns underneath in the piano.

Thelonious Monk “Four In One” 1951
Thelonious Monk- piano;
Sahib Shihab- alto saxophone;
Milt Jackson- vibraphone;
Al McKibbon- bass;
Art Blakey- drums.
“Genius Of Modern Music, Volume Two” (Blue Note, 1951)

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