Kevin Brennan Writes About What It's Like
Here’s a spectacular article about Thelonius Monk, the idiosyncratic bebop pianist and composer of maybe the greatest jazz original of them all, “‘Round Midnight.”
What I really like about Carvell Wallace’s piece in Pitchfork is the attention paid not just to musical details but also the social environment Monk worked in. Let’s be frank: it was a racist world. And one way artists like Monk developed to cope with it was to troll, or trick, “the squares.” He wore funny hats and had lapel cabbage. He didn’t answer your questions straightforwardly. He messed with your head, verbally and musically. And Wallace traces the same instinct to the evolution of hip-hop.
We just watched the Netflix documentary about Nina Simone last night. Same kind of story.
I don’t know who Carvell Wallace is, but his writing sure made me want to binge on Thelonius Monk today!