Cite
 

Monk, Thelonius

Monk, Thelonius (Thelonius Sphere Monk), 1917–82, American jazz pianist, composer, and arranger, b. Rocky Mount, N.C. Monk is considered one of the most important, and eccentric, figures in modern jazz. He spent most of his life in New York City, playing in nightclubs in the 1940s he was one of the first players of bop. His style was astringent, marked by discordant harmonies, alternating rhythms, and melodic interpretations. There was a subtle mixture of cynicism, humor, and warmth in his interpretations. Among the many jazz pieces Monk composed, the best known is probably Round Midnight. Others that have become standards include Monk's Mood, Straight No Chaser, Crepuscule with Nellie, and Epistrophy.

See biographies by L. Gourse (1997) and R. G. G. Kelley (2009) study ed. by R. Van Der Bliek (2001) C. Zwerin, dir., Thelonious Monk: Straight No Chaser (documentary film, 1989).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Music: Popular and Jazz: Biographies

Browse by Subject

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.