Jazz Record Center

Thelonious Monk


592 Pgs.
Free Press, Publ.

Robin D.G. Kelley's biography of Thelonious Monk is based on exclusive access to the Monk family papers and private recordings, as well as on a decade of prodigious research. It is a gripping saga of an artist's struggle to "make it" without compromising his musical vision. It is a story that, like its subject, reflects the tidal ebbs and flows of American history in the twentieth century. Kelly brings to light a Monk who is witty, intelligent, generous, politically engaged, brutally honest, a devoted father and husband, as well as the musician who ushered in the birth of "bebop" and established himself as one of America's greatest composers.

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