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New T.S. Monk and Archival Thelonious On the Way

Want to know what Thelonious Monk sounded like when he was practicing? The visionary pianist’s son, drummer T.S. Monk, hopes so. Rare recordings of the visionary jazz composer are a major part of the plan for Thelonious Records, a new label owned by the Monk family that’s been in the works for over two years.

The family announced the label’s formation in June of 2001, but it’s taken until now to get everything in order. The label’s first album, T.S. Monk’s Higher Ground, will be released August 26. The first T.S. Monk album since 1999’s Cross Talk, Higher Ground showcases the writing talents of the members of the drummer’s septet and, as T.S. describes it, sounds “somewhere between Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers and tomorrow’s sound. It’s really smooth, and it’s really jazz.”

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