Top 10 Thelonious Monk Albums

Note: stay tuned over the coming months each of these “plain” lists is replaced with a full blog post with commentary on the items on the list (and, in some cases, the items that didn’t make the cut).

  1. Monk’s Dream
  2. Brilliant Corners
  3. Thelonious Himself
  4. The Complete Genius (Vol. 1 and 2)
  5. Underground
  6. Misterioso
  7. Plays Duke Ellington
  8. 5 By Monk By 5
  9. Thelonious Monk With John Coltrane
  10. Thelonious Monk Trio

2 ResponsesLeave one →

  1. Art Manchester

     /  May 8, 2015

    Nice list, but what about the Town Hall album, with Hall Overton charts?

  2. Blake Lucas

     /  December 6, 2016

    Ok, the test worked (and you can delete it).

    Just to say I am taken with your list and looking forward to hearing you elaborate on it.

    We may have about half of these in common if I made a list (there are a few variables or ones I’m not sure which way I’d go on). But there isn’t anything there that doesn’t seem worthy of Top 10 status to me. And for me, it’s just the right range–mostly Riverside as it should be, two Columbias, one Prestige, and one Blue Note (taking in most of those records!) And the right representations for Rouse, Rollins, Griffin, and Coltrane who all deserve to be there.

    I am assuming that 10 is the Prestige trios (Little Rootie Tootie, et al.) and that Misterioso is the Riverside/Five Spot with Griffin, not the unlamented Columbia that accumulated tracks from a number of dates mostly now back with the original dates, and that Monk w/Coltrane is the Jazzland, not Carnegie Hall (if so that surprised me, but it’s where I am on this too).

    My favorite jazz artist of all and I will make some further comment when I see what you have to say about your choices. (Would appreciate email when you do follow up.)

    Meantime, tomorrow is the 60th anniversary of the final Brilliant Corners date and I’ve been planning on playing it for that. And of course, next year is Monk’s centennial.

Leave a Reply