Mainstreaming Monk: The Ellington Album


Monk and Ellington were kindred spirits: both were profoundly influential composers and wonderfully idiosyncratic pianists. Tucker explores and evaluates Monk's recording of nine Ellington compositions from 1958. Detecting some diffidence in Monk's attitude toward the project, he suggests that the recording may have been designed to position Monk as part of an emerging jazz "mainstream," or middle way between extremes, which was a commercial and critical trend so powerful it swept along even an iconoclast like Monk.

Site Section: 
Resource Type: 
Jazz by Era: 
Additional Keywords: 
biography, collaboration, Duke Ellington, Ira Gitler, mainstream jazz, songbook, Thelonious Monk, Thelonious Monk Plays Duke Ellington, tribute album