Reportedly, Thelonious Monk never liked his compositions recorded by other artists. One exception was Steve Lacy's Reflections, recorded in 1958 (with Mal Waldron, Buell Neidlinger and Elvin Jones which was actually the first all-Monk-composition album recorded by someone rather Mr. Monk himself.).
Whether that was the main factor or something else unbeknownst to us, Monk invited Lacy to play along his quartet in 1960.
Monk had already complimented Lacy in at least one (not very auspicious) occasion: during a gig at the UN
One existing recording of that brief stint comes from a radio broadcast in the World Jazz Series by CBS which I present here. Monk is accompanied by Charlie Rouse (tenor saxophone), John Ore (bass) and Roy Haynes (drums). The occasion was the Quaker City Jazz Festival in Philadelphia, and the date, March 3, 1960.
Starting with Evidence whose Rouse is no less than stunning, they plunge into Straight No Chaser. Rythym-A-Ning is the final song on which Lacy's solo get muddied with an annoying series of announcements, first by Louis Armstrong, and then by the CBS announcer who encourages folks to buy the US saving bounds for a more secure future. Needles to say, my definition of a secure future is a Thelonious Monk solo album.
Big thanks to BigO for making it online and also for his political column which I follow enthusiastically.
Enjoy the show!
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