Thelonious Monk The London Collection Volume 1 on 180g LP from Black Lion/ORG Music
History Unveiled: 1971 Solo Mastery from Thelonious Monk Chronicles the Pianist’s Final Full-Scale Recording Sessions as a Leader
Spectacular Audiophile Restoration Series Resurrects UK Label Black Lion: Mastered at Bernie Grundman Studios by Chris Bellman and Pressed at Pallas
EQ Notes and Curation Performed by Iconic Engineer Steve Hoffman; LPs EQ’d and Set Up by Bernie Grundman
Conceived, Designed, and Manufactured for Collectors and Enthusiasts: Vinyl Jacket Features Exclusive Art
Deluxe Edition Also Available: Numbered Set Includes Standard 180g LP + 45RPM 2LP with Diecut Black Gatefold Jacket—Limited to 500 Copies!
What if you could be a fly on the wall at Thelonious Monk’s final recording sessions as leader? You can. Offering tremendous late-period performances, The London Collection Vol. 1 is nothing but Monk, improvisational, unhinged, and unrestrained. Alternating between established originals and familiar classics, the pianist weaves magic spells on the 88s, savoring pauses between notes, the decay of chords, and a fluid style that feels more welcome than some of his angular playing.
Originally released by the UK label Black Lion, an imprint that specialized in resurrecting rare gems from US jazz and blues legends, The London Collection Vol. 1 marks what are indisputably Monk’s final significant contributions and a can’t-miss opportunity for collectors and enthusiasts to get closer to the man and his music. Orchestrated by ORG Music, this historical reissue is afforded the ultimate in audiophile production standards, resulting in sonics and presentation befitting the museum-like worth of this record’s existence.
Mastered from the original master tapes at Bernie Grundman Studios by Chris Bellman and pressed at Pallas, the 180g LP was curated by legendary engineer Steve Hoffman and eq’d by Grundman himself. A better team you cannot find; every step involved serious quality-control measures to guarantee gorgeous sound. The superb vinyl jacket features exclusive artwork. Indeed, this is what being a collector is all about. The title may not be widely known to most, but this reissue preserves vital music that will be enjoyed by generations to come. Consider it a buried treasure that, miraculously, has resurfaced in better condition than that when it was originally made.
Note: The London Collection Vol. 1 is also available as a Deluxe Edition, which includes the 33RPM LP as well as a 45RPM 2LP and diecut black gatefold jacket. Limited and numbered to 500 copies!
Jazz fans, Monk followers, audiophiles, and music fanatics, don’t sleep on this collectable gem!
"The sound here is so transparent, the pressing quality so superb, the vinyl so quiet, if you set the level just so, I think you'll agree with me that the title of this review is not hyperbole: turn out the lights and Monk has been brought back to life to play just for you!"
--Michael Fremer, Analog Planet, July 6, 2012
Thelonious Monk The London Collection Vol. 1 Track Listing:
1. Trinkle, Tinkle [Take 3]
2. Crepuscule With Nellie [Take 2]
3. Darn That Dream
4. Little Rootie Tootie
5. Meet Me Tonight in Dreamland
6. Nice Work If You Can Get It
7. My Melancholy Baby
9. Lover Man
10. Blue Sphere