Thelonius Monk, Alone in San Francisco: a critical review
Thelonious Monk does not simply play the piano�??he lives through it. The instrument is an extension of himself Each note Monk plays is a cathartic expression of emotion�??love, loss, pain, anguish�??all conspiring with the virtuoso�??s grunts and mumbles to create a sound world unique to the mysterious jazz master, an auditory experience impossible to replicate and impossible to ignore. Monk�??s raw, visceral, and powerful presence at the keyboard comes across regardless of ensemble and setting; however, it is perhaps best understood in the context of a solo performance�??Monk, a piano, no boundaries, and no inhibitions. It is exactly this musical gift that the lucky individual who ascertains a copy of Monk�??s CD Thelonious Alone in San Francisco (Riverside Records, matrix number 0JCCD-231 S3801L) can find him or herself in company with, and such a treasure should be savored for the unique opportunity to listen to one of the masters of America�??s greatest export in conversation with himself.