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Thelonious Monk Blue Note Sessions (Well you Needn’t)

In Album, Well You Needn't on February 10, 2009 at 11:07 am

Jazz pianist Thelonious Monk’s first sessions as a bandleader were recorded between 1947 and 1952, and released on Blue Note records as a series of 78 RPM singles. These singles were then compiled in later years–with additional performances from the sessions–into long-playing album formats. As Monk’s reputation and fame grew, the sessions were recompiled again and again into more complete configurations. This article details various releases of these sessions.

monk_1967

Thelonious Monk, foreground, performing at Expo 67in Montreal. (Credit: Library and Archives Canada)

The Sessions

The Blue Note recordings were made over the course of six different sessions. “Versions” refers only to the number of eventually-released performances; other takes may have been recorded.

All compositions by Thelonious Monk unless otherwise noted.

Session 1: October 15, 1947

1. Humph
2. Evonce (Idrees Sulieman – Ike Quebec) [2 versions]
3. Suburban Eyes (Ike Quebec) [2 versions]
4. Thelonious

Session 2: October 24, 1947

5. Nice Work If You Can Get It (G. Gershwin, I. Gershwin) [2 versions]
6. Ruby My Dear [2 versions]
7. Well You Needn’t [2 versions]
8. April In Paris (Vernon Duke – E. Y. Harburg) [2 versions]
9. Off Minor
10. Introspection

Session 3: November 21, 1947

11. In Walked Bud
12. Monk’s Mood
13. Who Knows? [2 versions]
14. ‘Round Midnight

Session 4: July 2, 1948

15. Evidence
16. Misterioso [2 versions]
17. Epistrophy (T. Monk – Kenny Clarke)
18. I Mean You
19. All The Things You Are (Jerome Kern – Oscar Hammerstein)
20. I Should Care (Cahn – Stordahl – Weston)[2 versions]

Session 5: July 23, 1951

21. Four in One [2 versions]
22. Criss Cross [2 versions]
23. Eronel (Monk – Sulieman – Hakim)
24. Straight, No Chaser
25. Ask Me Now [2 versions]
26. Willow Weep For Me (Ann Ronnell)


Session 6: May 30, 1952

27. Skippy [2 versions]
28. Hornin’ In [2 versions]
29. Sixteen [2 versions]
30. Carolina Moon (B. Davis – J. Burke)
31. Let’s Cool One
32. I’ll Follow You (R. Turk – F. Ahlert)

Personnel

  • Thelonious Monk – piano
  • Art Blakey – drums (sessions 1, 2, 3, 5)
  • Shadow Wilson – drums (session 4)
  • Max Roach – drums (session 6)
  • Gene Ramey – bass (session 1, 2)
  • Bob Paige – bass (session 3)
  • John Simmons – bass (session 4)
  • Al McKibbon – bass (session 5)
  • Nelson Boyd – bass (session 6)
  • Milt Jackson – vibraphone (4, 5)
  • Idrees Sulieman – trumpet (session 1)
  • George Taitt – trumpet (session 3)
  • Kenny Dorham – trumpet (session 6)
  • Danny Quebec West – alto saxophone (session 1)
  • Sahib Shihab – alto saxophone (sessions 3, 5)
  • Lou Donaldson – alto saxophone (session 6)
  • Billy Smith – tenor saxophone (session 1)
  • Lucky Thompson – tenor saxophone (session 6)
  • Kenny “Pancho” Hagood – vocal (session 4, songs 19 & 20)

Singles

Blue Note 78 rpm series (12 inch 78 rpm)

BN 543 Well, You Needn’t (BN314-0)/ ‘Round About Midnight (BN321-1) 

 

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