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
Aug 28, 2015
WDBJ-TV7 meteorologist Leo Hirsbrunner, right, wipes his eyes during the early morning newscast as anchors Kimberly McBroom, center, and guest anchor Steve Grant deliver the news at the station in Roanoke, Va., Thursday, Aug. 27, 2015. Reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward were killed during a live broadcast Wednesday, while on assignment in Moneta. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

A deadly shooting on live TV. Wall Street’s roller coaster ride. Biden considers a White House bid. 10 years since Katrina.

Aug 28, 2015
Lightning first ignited the Meadow fire on July 20, 2014 in Yosemite. By September 8, the fire had charred 2,582 acres. Bernie Krause has recorded soundscapes of national parks destroyed by large areas of forest fires. Listen below.  (National Park Service)

A legendary natural sound collector shares his recordings. We’ll listen in.

RECENT
SHOWS
Aug 27, 2015
Amy Seek's memoir is "God and Jetfire: Confessions of a Birth Mother"

Open adoption. How one birth mother gave up her child for adoption and stayed in his life.

 
Aug 27, 2015
The slow-going struggle for mental health parity (Getty Images)

Insurance companies are required by law to cover mental health the same as physical health. So why don’t they?

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Our Week In The Web: August 28, 2015
Friday, Aug 28, 2015

You say #hashtag, we say, #forwhat? That, plus Usain Bolt and the ominous lurking Segway cameraman. Friday!

More »
Comment
 
Our Week In The Web: August 21, 2015
Friday, Aug 21, 2015

Do you even click? (And other reflections on link sharing and web commenting).

More »
6 Comments
 
Do You Recognize Amazon’s Workplace Culture? Tell Us!
Tuesday, Aug 18, 2015

Do you recognize the workplace conditions described in a recent New York Times piece on Amazon? We want to hear from you!

More »
5 Comments