Monk, Thelonious Sphere, 1917-1982

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Thelonious Sphere Monk (/θəˈloʊniəs/, October 10, 1917 – February 17, 1982) was an American jazz pianist and composer. He had a unique improvisational style and made numerous contributions to the standard jazz repertoire, including "'Round Midnight", "Blue Monk", "Straight, No Chaser", "Ruby, My Dear", "In Walked Bud", and "Well, You Needn't". Monk is the second-most-recorded jazz composer after Duke Ellington.

Monk's compositions and improvisations feature dissonances and angular melodic twists and are consistent with his unorthodox approach to the piano, which combined a highly percussive attack with abrupt, dramatic use of switched key releases, silences, and hesitations. His style was not universally appreciated; the poet and jazz critic Philip Larkin dismissed him as "the elephant on the keyboard".

Monk was renowned for a distinct look which included suits, hats, and sunglasses. He was also noted for an idiosyncratic habit during performances: while other musicians continued playing, Monk would stop, stand up, and dance for a few moments before returning to the piano.

Monk is one of five jazz musicians to have been featured on the cover of Time magazine (the others being Louis Armstrong, Dave Brubeck, Duke Ellington and Wynton Marsalis).

Monk was friends with poet Allen Ginsberg who introduced him to Timothy Leary. Monk was one of several artists Leary wanted to recruit for his studies on the effects of psilocybin in creative individuals.

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Monk, Thelonious, 1917-1982. Epistrophy [Multimédia multisupport] / Dexter Gordon, saxo. tenor. Bibliothèque nationale de France, BnF
referencedIn Eddie Locke Photographs of Jazz Musicians, 1954-1974. Columbia University. Rare Book and Manuscript Library,
creatorOf Monk, Thelonious, 1917-1982. Well you needn't [Multimédia multisupport] / Thelonious Monk, p. Bibliothèque nationale de France, BnF
creatorOf Monk, Thelonious, 1917-1982. Ruby, my dear [Multimédia multisupport] / Dexter Gordon, saxo. tenor. Bibliothèque nationale de France, BnF
referencedIn American Vaudeville Museum collection, 1845-2007, (bulk 1910-1940) University of Arizona Libraries, Library Special Collections
creatorOf Monk, Thelonious. Lead sheets : unpublished copyright deposits, 1942-1965 / Thelonious Monk. Library of Congress
referencedIn Bolton, Robert, 1937-1988. Robert Bolton collection, 1955-1980 (bulk 1963-1969). University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
creatorOf Crumb, David. Variation on 'Round midnight : for piano / by David Crumb. Washington State University, Holland and Terrell Libraries
creatorOf Monk, Thelonious. Straight, no chaser / comp. T. Monk ; arr. Role Johnson. Indiana University
creatorOf Monk, Thelonious, 1917-1982. Ruby, my dear [Multimédia multisupport] / Dexter Gordon, saxo. tenor. Bibliothèque nationale de France, BnF
creatorOf Monk, Thelonious. Endorsed check : Jackson Heights, N.Y., 1971 Feb. 4. Pierpont Morgan Library.
referencedIn Black, Ivan, d. 1979. Ivan Black papers, 1887-1979 (bulk 1937-1978) New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf Monk, Thelonious, 1917-1982. Epistrophy [Multimédia multisupport] / Dexter Gordon, saxo. tenor. Bibliothèque nationale de France, BnF
referencedIn Grover Sales Collection, 1940-2004 Archive of Recorded Sound
creatorOf UNCSA Jazz Ensemble. Jazz Ensemble [sound recording] University of North Carolina School of the Arts, Semans Library
creatorOf Waters, Keith John, 1958-. Keith Waters, jazz piano [sound recording] University of North Carolina School of the Arts, Semans Library
referencedIn Smith, W. Eugene, 1918-1978. Papers, 1910-1978. University of Arizona Libraries
creatorOf NCSA Jazz Ensemble. NCSA Jazz Ensemble [sound recording]. University of North Carolina School of the Arts, Semans Library
creatorOf Monk, Thelonious, 1917-1982. Off minor [Multimédia multisupport] / Thelonious Monk, p. Bibliothèque nationale de France, BnF
creatorOf Love, Kermit.,. The Bix pieces : music scores used by Twyla Tharp for her dance, 1971. Ohio State University Libraries
referencedIn Neat Stuff Collectables. Jazz Playbill Collection, 1923-1952. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Library and Archives
creatorOf NCSA Jazz Ensemble. Jazz Ensemble [sound recording]. University of North Carolina School of the Arts, Semans Library
creatorOf Monk, Thelonious, 1917-1982. Off minor [Multimédia multisupport] / Thelonious Monk, p. Bibliothèque nationale de France, BnF
referencedIn Nicolas Slonimsky Collection, 1873-1997, (bulk 1920-1990) Library of Congress. Music Division
referencedIn Teo Macero collection, 1949-1992, 1958-1975 The New York Public Library. Music Division.
creatorOf NCSA Jazz Ensemble. Jazz Ensemble [sound recording] University of North Carolina School of the Arts, Semans Library
creatorOf Tomasko, Aaron. Aaron Tomasko, string bass [sound recording] : junior recital, Wednesday, April 5th, 7:30 pm, UCO Jazz Lab. University of Central Oklahoma, Chambers Library
creatorOf North Carolina Jazz Quintet. North Carolina Jazz Quintet live from Sulmona, Italy [sound recording]. University of North Carolina School of the Arts, Semans Library
referencedIn Jeffrey, Paul, 1933-. Paul Jeffrey collection of Thelonious Monk concert recordings, 1970-1972 and undated. Duke University Libraries, Duke University Library; Perkins Library
referencedIn Ivan Black papers, 1887-1979, 1937-1978 The New York Public Library. Music Division.
referencedIn Edward Beach Collection, 1940-1975, (bulk 1950-1975) Library of Congress. Music Division
creatorOf Nokes, Mark. Mark Nokes, guitar, senior recital [sound recording] : Monday, November 28, 2005, 7:00 pm, Recital Hall. University of Central Oklahoma, Chambers Library
referencedIn Duke Ellington recordings collection Eda Kuhn Loeb Music Library, Harvard College Library
referencedIn Southern Folklife Collection Artist Name File, 1940-2005 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
referencedIn Records of the U.S. Information Agency. 1900 - 2003. Sound Recordings Relating to Willis Conover's Jazz Program quot;House of Soundsquot;
referencedIn TV SATELLITE FILE NO. 340 United States. National Archives and Records Administration
creatorOf Monk, Thelonious, 1917-1982. Well you needn't [Multimédia multisupport] / Thelonious Monk, p. Bibliothèque nationale de France, BnF
creatorOf Kalyn, James. 8th annual saxophone Saturday [sound recording]. University of North Carolina School of the Arts, Semans Library
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith American Museum of Vaudeville corporateBody
associatedWith Beach, Ed person
associatedWith Black, Ivan, d. 1979 person
associatedWith Bolton, Robert, 1937-1988. person
associatedWith Crumb, David. person
associatedWith Cullen, Frank, 1936- person
associatedWith Dodge, Joseph Jeffers person
associatedWith Jeffrey, Paul, 1933- person
associatedWith Locke, Eddie. person
associatedWith Macero, Teo, 1925-2008 person
associatedWith McNeilly, Donald, 1945- person
associatedWith NCSA Jazz Ensemble. corporateBody
associatedWith Nokes, Mark. person
associatedWith North Carolina Jazz Quintet. corporateBody
associatedWith Prosan, Sid. person
associatedWith Sales, Grover, Mr. person
associatedWith Slonimsky, Nicolas, 1894-1995 person
associatedWith Smith, W. Eugene, 1918-1978. person
associatedWith Tomasko, Aaron. person
associatedWith UNCSA Jazz Ensemble. corporateBody
associatedWith Waters, Keith John, 1958- person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Subject
Jazz
Jazz--Lead sheets
Music--Manuscripts--Facsimiles
Occupation
Function

Person

Birth 1917-10-10

Death 1982-02-17

Americans

English

Information

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SNAC ID: 84623605