An album by Thelonious Monk
recorded for Riverside Records
in New York
, later remastered
By the time of this recording Monk had finished two LPs for Riverside covering some jazz standards. Monk was ready and eager to express himself with some of his own compositions, thus leading to Brilliant Corners.
Monk recruited quite a group for this album, Sonny Rollins would play tenor sax, Ernie Henry would be on alto, Oscar Pettiford would play bass and the mighty Max Roach would fill out the rhythm section on drums. Halfway through recording Monk would lose Henry and Pettiford, so he replaced them with Clark Terry on trumpet and Miles Davis' virtuoso Paul Chambers on bass.
1. Brilliant Corners (7:42)
2. Ba-Lue Bolivar Ba-Lues-Are (13:08)
3. Pannonica (8:50)
4. I Surrender, Dear (5:25)
5. Bemsha Swing (7:42)
Besides working his group as hard he does himself, Monk also did some experimentation on a few tracks. One example was when Monk found a celeste laying around the studio and had become fascinated with using it on the track Pannonica; so he set it up at a right-angle to his piano and played each instrument with one hand.
All in all this is a solid album and considered by many to be quintessential Monk.