Remastered By Ray Staff at Air Mastering
1963's Criss-Cross served as Thelonious Monk's second for Columbia Records following Monk's Dream which was issued earlier the same year. Produced by Teo Macero, the singular pianist is joined on the first-rate 8-song endeavor by the likes of Charlie Rouse (tenor saxophone), John Ore (bass) and Frankie Dunlop (drums). The excellent quartet offers up takes on six classic Monk compositions including "Hackensack," "Criss-Cross," "Eronal," "Rhythm-A-Thing," "Think Of One" and "Crepuscule With Nellie" to go along with compelling renditions of the standards "Tea for Two" and "Don't Blame Me."
"In Criss-Cross, his second for CBS, Thelonious is at his greatest. The tightly knit group is woven together by Thelonious' imcomparable piano. From first note to last, the album swings! It is difficult, indeed, to recall that it is sometimes said that Monk's music is not the easiest listening. The only thing which is not easy about Criss-Cross is to keep your foot from tapping, to divert your attention for a single moment from the opening chorus of Hackensack to the last, lovely chorus of "Crepuscule With Nellie."
"...To attempt an analysis, description or explanation of Thelonious's music-making would be superfluous. His greatness lies in the very fact that he transcends all formulas, all well-worn adjectives and cliches; only a new vocabulary, perhaps, could suffice. One thing though, is certain; this is the happiest of albums, leaving one with an extraordinary feeling of elation." - Nica De Koenigswarter, original liner notes
Thelonious Monk, piano
Charlie Rouse, tenor saxophone
John Ore, bass
Frankie Dunlop, drums