Deluxe Box Set featuring All Five 10-Inches Monk Recorded for Prestige Records Between 1952-1954: Remastered by Joe Tarantino from the Original Analog Tapes & Lacquers Cut by George Horn and Anne-Marie Seunram at Fantasy Studios
Craft Recordings presents the Thelonious Monk - The Complete Prestige 10-Inch LP Collection box set which includes all five of the 10-inches the revered pianist recorded for the jazz label, spanning 1952 to 1954. Each album has been faithfully reproduced – from the jacket design to the LP labels – while the audio has been carefully restored and remastered by Joe Tarantino from the original analog tapes, with lacquer cutting by George Horn and Anne-Marie Seunram at Fantasy Studios. Rounding out the collection is a booklet with new liner notes by Robin D. G. Kelley, author of Thelonious Monk: The Life and Times of an American Original.
In the early '50s, Monk was still struggling to find critical and commercial acceptance. The artist's fortune began to change, though, in 1952, when Prestige Records' founder Bob Weinstock offered Monk a recording contract. Weeks later, the Thelonious Monk Trio ̶ consisting of Art Blakey (as well as Max Roach on select tracks) on drums and Gary Mapp on bass, went to work in the studio, with a young Ira Gitler as producer. The resulting 10" release was Thelonious. By the fall of 1953, Monk returned to the studio, this time with a quintet, for Thelonious Monk Quintet Blows For LP, featuring Sonny Rollins on tenor sax. Thelonious Monk Quintet and Thelonious Plays followed in 1954. In the final 10" in this collection, recorded in October of 1954, Monk was actually a last-minute replacement for Elmo Hope at a Rollins session. But he ultimately received co-billing on the resultant 10" LP release, Sonny Rollins and Thelonious Monk. Also produced by Gitler, the LP includes an 11-minute jam of Vincent Youmans' "More Than You Know" which, as Kelley puts it, became "the session's masterpiece, a sublime dialogue between two great masters of modern music."
These early albums in The Complete Prestige 10-Inch LP Collection offer an intriguing look into this distinctive and resolute artist before he found full acclaim and acceptance, and feature an impressive collective personnel that includes some of jazz's finest. "Listening to these tracks more than sixty years after they were recorded, it's stunning how compelling, modern and original Monk's music still sounds, even through the filter of 21st-century ears," observes the collection's producer, Nick Phillips. "That's the mark of a true musical genius, indeed."
• Deluxe 5 x 10" vinyl box set
• Featuring all 5 of the 10"s Monk recorded for Prestige Records between 1952-1954
• Audio carefully restored and remastered by Joe Tarantino from the original analog tapes
• Lacquer cutting by George Horn and Anne-Marie Seunram at Fantasy Studios
• Each album faithfully reproduced from the jacket design to the LP labels
• Booklet with new liner notes by Robin D. G. Kelley