Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Robin Kelley’s Transcendental Thelonious Monk

Robin Kelley’s Transcendental Thelonious Monk: Robin Kelley’s superb biography brings the Thelonious Monk story back from the ragged edge to the creative center of American music. And it brings my reading year to a blessedly loving, gorgeously swinging, dissonant, modernist, and utterly one-off climactic note. There may be another jazz biography as thickly detailed, as audibly lyrical, as passionate, as thrilling as this one, but I can’t bring it to mind.

Click to listen to Chris’s conversation with Robin Kelley (51 minutes, 24 meg mp3)

I got Kelley's book in Philly, but it was too thick to carry with my in-progress books, so it's on its way to California in an UPS package with my Christmas presents and some other stuff. The podcast is exceptional, great discussion backed up with some of Monk's most mind-blowing compositions. Highly recommended.

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