90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Thelonious Monk's Jazz Legacy
Jazz pianist Thelonious Monk performs at the Newport Jazz Festival in Newport, R.I. on July 5, 1963. (AP Photo)

Thelonious Monk performs at the Newport Jazz Festival in Newport, R.I., on July 5, 1963. (AP Photo)

Jazz great Thelonious Monk had a genius for unusual and daring composition, for confounding and delighting the world. He did things with rhythm, melody and chords that had never quite been heard before.

Hip America swooned for his music and for his myth: the mystical, elusive “George Washington of bebop.” From the 1940s to the 1970s and beyond, the myth of Monk nearly overshadowed the man. But his music rolls on.

A new biography from Robin Kelley tells the story of the music and the man — of Coltrane and Chopin and genius and Monk.

This hour, On Point: a deep new look at the great jazzman Thelonious Monk.

You can join the conversation. Tell us what you think — here on this page, on Twitter, and on Facebook.

Guests:

Robin Kelley joins us from Los Angeles. Professor of history and American Studies at the University of Southern California, he’s the author of the new biography “Thelonious Monk: The Life and Times of an American Original.” You can read an excerpt here.

And from New York we’re joined by Matthew Shipp, jazz pianist, composer, and bandleader. His previous albums include “One,” “Harmony and Abyss,” and “Equilibrium.” His forthcoming album, available this January, is “4d.” You can hear him playing and talking about piano jazz at NPR.org.

Here’s a list of the Monk songs featured during the hour:

“Blue Sphere”
“Introspection”
“‘Round Midnight”
“Evidence”
“Trinkle, Tinkle”
“Brilliant Corners”
“In Walked Bud”
“This is My Story, This is My Song”
“Jackie-Ing”
“Well, You Needn’t”

More links:

In this clip from the documentary “Straight No Chaser,” you can see Monk’s famous “dance” during a performance:

And here’s Monk playing his renowned composition “‘Round Midnight” in Norway in 1966:

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Oct 31, 2014
Nurse Kaci Hickox, right, and her boyfriend, Ted Wilbur are followed by a Maine State Trooper as they ride bikes on a trail near her home in Fort Kent, Maine, Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014.  (AP)

Quarantines and Ebola. An exploding rocket. Apple’s CEO comes out. Hawaiian lava flows. Midterms in the home stretch. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Oct 31, 2014
Doc Sportello (Joaquin Phoenix) and Sauncho Smilax (Beninico del Toro) share a drink in a scene from the upcoming Paul Thomas Anderson film, "Inherent Vice," an adaptation of the Thomas Pynchon novel of the same name. (Courtesy Warner Bros. Entertainment)

From “Interstellar” to “Into the Woods.” The biggest and best movies of the fall and holiday seasons. What to see, what to skip.

RECENT
SHOWS
Oct 31, 2014
Doc Sportello (Joaquin Phoenix) and Sauncho Smilax (Beninico del Toro) share a drink in a scene from the upcoming Paul Thomas Anderson film, "Inherent Vice," an adaptation of the Thomas Pynchon novel of the same name. (Courtesy Warner Bros. Entertainment)

From “Interstellar” to “Into the Woods.” The biggest and best movies of the fall and holiday seasons. What to see, what to skip.

 
Oct 31, 2014
Nurse Kaci Hickox, right, and her boyfriend, Ted Wilbur are followed by a Maine State Trooper as they ride bikes on a trail near her home in Fort Kent, Maine, Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014.  (AP)

Quarantines and Ebola. An exploding rocket. Apple’s CEO comes out. Hawaiian lava flows. Midterms in the home stretch. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
The Explicast, Episode Three: What Is The Dow Jones Industrial Average?
Friday, Oct 31, 2014

We dig in to that all-important, all-confusing daily stock notice: the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

More »
Comment
 
Our Week In The Web: October 31, 2014
Friday, Oct 31, 2014

We tumble for ya, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Tuco the Massachusetts K-9 Unit puppy in training.

More »
1 Comment
 
Awards Season 2014: The Movies Worth Your Time
Friday, Oct 31, 2014

What movies should you watch before 2014 comes to a close? Our critics offer their picks for the movies of the season right here.

More »
Comment