1950, Jazz

Thelonious Monk – Brilliant Corners (1957)

Brilliant Corners is an album by the jazz pianist and composer Thelonious Monk and released on Riverside Records. His third record for this label is also the first records which he had written completely himself on this label. It was recorded in three seasons and two different quintets were used. It runs under the label Hard bop. It contains 5 songs with an average song length of round about 8,5 minutes. Instruments on the album besides Monks piano are percussions, tenor sax, alto sax, trumpet and bass.

The whole album has the atmosphere of a night club back in the days. The harsh and hard sound of the drums are very pleasurable.


The main mediums of the album are the changes of the tempi and the leading instruments. This works pretty well for the title track (which needed 12 takes to be recorded) and the last track on the album, Bernsha Swing ( it contains some great controlled vigorous parts). Both songs uses the full amplitude of tempi change, having really fast parts and some really slow parts. You also will love the drum solo on the title track.

The three songs in the middle are more chilled and relaxed and all in a slower to mid tempo are, but all instrument have some brilliant lead parts.

Finally I am indecesive about this album. I would listen to it again, but only as background companionship when I have something else to do and not with a main focus on it.


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