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Thelonious Monk: Lost Liaison

Inside the Forgotten 1959 Studio Session

Thelonious Monk (photo courtesy of Jazz Magazine/Private Collection)
Monk at Nola Penthouse Sound Studios, July 1959
Thelonious Monk (right) with French producer Marcel Romano (photo courtesy of Arnaud Boubet/Private Collection)
Monk in the studio with French producer Marcel Romano
Thelonious Monk (right) with his wife, Nellie and his patron, Baroness Pannonica de Koenigswarter (photo courtesy of Arnaud Boubet/Private Collection)
Thelonious Monk with his wife, Nellie, and his patron, the Baroness Pannonica de Koenigswarter (from left) in 1959 (photo courtesy of Arnaud Boubet/Private Collection)
A crew including Monk, Romano, Charlie Rouse, Sam Jones, Art Taylor and the French tenorman Barney Wilen (photo courtesy Arnaud Boubet/Private Collection)
A crew including Monk, Romano, Charlie Rouse, Sam Jones, Art Taylor and the French tenorman Barney Wilen make jazz history
Poster for Les Liaisons Dangereuses 1960 (image courtesy of Fred Thomas/Private Collection)
Poster for Les Liaisons Dangereuses 1960 (image courtesy of Fred Thomas/Private Collection)

Over the past few years especially, new releases by contemporary jazz musicians have had to vie for attention with recently discovered, decades-old recordings by some of their legendary (and long-deceased) forebears. Among the most notable examples of such “lost albums” are John Coltrane’s Offering: Live at Temple University, a searing 1966 performance by the saxophonist, taped just months before his death; and the aptly titled Some Other Time: The Lost Session From the Black Forest, a radiant standards-centric Bill Evans studio session captured in ’68.

Both of these recordings were brought to light by Los Angeles-based Resonance Records. Not surprisingly, when the founders of two French reissue labels unearthed boxes of audiotape that had been gathering dust for over half a century in the archive of a Paris-based jazz insider, they turned to Resonance’s Executive VP and General Manager, Zev Feldman, to collaborate on the launch of their own rare relic.

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Originally Published