Thelonious Monk must have provided easy inspiration for the title-namer of his 1956 Riverside album, The Unique Thelonious Monk.
As the swing era gave way to new and challenging sounds, a generation of bandleaders was forced to take notice.
Several years ago an amazing audio find came to light–a June 1945 Town Hall concert in New York City featuring Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, and Max Roach–the rising stars of the then-revolutionary new music bebop–accompanied by Al Haig on piano and Curley Russell on bass. The performance, captured in sound that’s stellar by the era’s standards…
Duets from Steve Lacy & Mal Waldron, Mal Waldron & Jeanne Lee, Lee & Ran Blake, Ran Blake & Anthony Braxton, Braxton & Max Roach...is there a pattern here?
In the 1950s and 60s, as the Cold War & the civil-rights movement heated up, the U.S. State Department sent jazz musicians on goodwill tours around the world.