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Thelonious Monk: Monk in Paris: Live at the Olympia

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It’s getting more and more common to package CDs and DVDs together, not that anyone is likely to complain, since it remains hard to find outstanding performances in the latter format. In the present case, the DVD in this package features Thelonious Monk’s quartet with Charlie Rouse, Larry Gales and Ben Riley in concert-not in Paris, like the CD portion, but in Oslo in 1966. This performance has been released on DVD previously but not, as far as I know, with any sort of distribution.

The quartet plays three tunes, including fine renditions of “Lulu’s Back in Town” and “Blue Monk” and a somewhat perfunctory “‘Round Midnight.” Rouse and Monk are in good form and the rhythm team up to its usual high standard, though some may find Gales’ bass solo more than long enough. Listeners who love confident, deep-toned walking won’t have this problem, however.

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