Eric Reed Celebrates Thelonious Monk’s Birthday

Written by on October 10, 2014

Today marks the birthday of the legendary Thelonious Monk!

A few years ago, pianist Eric Reed helped us mark Monk’s birthday by sharing some of his favorite Monk albums, tunes, sidemen, and more. We’re re-posting them here, as Reed picked out some wonderful selections. Enjoy!

Pianist Eric Reed

Pianist Eric Reed

Top 5 Favorite Monk Albums
1. Thelonious Monk Trio, (Prestige, 1952)
2. Monk, (Prestige, 1954)
3. The Prophet, (Vogue, 1954)
4. Two Hours With Thelonious, (Riverside, 1961)
5. Mulligan Meets Monk, (Riverside, 1957)

Thelonious Monk, 1947 (Photo: William Gottlieb)

Thelonious Monk, 1947 (Photo: William Gottlieb)

Top 5 Favorite Monk Performances
1. Thelonious Monk “Tea for Two,” The Unique Thelonious Monk, (Riverside, 1956)
2. Thelonious Monk “Sweet and Lovely,” Live at Carnegie Hall, (Mosaic, 1957)
3. Gigi Gryce “Gallop’s Gallop,” Quartet and Orchestra, (Signal, 1955)
4. Thelonious Monk “Work,” Thelonious Monk and Sonny Rollins, (Prestige, 1954)
5. Thelonious Monk “Remember,” Alone in San Francisco, (Riverside, 1959)

Top 5 Favorite Monk Compositions
1. Gallop’s Gallop
2. Ruby, My Dear
3. Introspection
4. Ugly Beauty
5. Thelonious

Top 5 Favorite Monk Arrangements of Standards
1. Just a Gigolo
2. Body and Soul
3. Sweet and Lovely
4. Nice Work, If You Can Get It
5. Tea for Two

Favorite Monk Band
John Coltrane, Wilbur Ware, Shadow Wilson

Monk’s Best Band (IMHO)
Charlie Rouse, John Ore, Frankie Dunlop

Top 5 Favorite Individual Sideman
1. Drums – Frankie Dunlop
2. Tenor Saxophone – Charlie Rouse
3. Bass – Larry Gales
4. Trumpet – Idrees Sulieman

Monk Fantasy Band (past)
Booker Little, Gigi Gryce, Joe Henderson, Percy Heath, Elvin Jones

Monk Fantasy Band (present-day)
Gary Bartz, Stacy Dillard, Dezron Douglas, Al Foster

Top 5 Favorite Monk Interpreters
1. Bud Powell
2. Chick Corea
3. Sphere: Charlie Rouse, Ben Riley, Kenny Barron, Buster Williams
4. Joe Henderson
5. Ronnie Matthews

We twisted Eric’s arm, and also got from him some of his favorite performances he’s recorded of Monk’s music
Eric Reed, “Reflections,” The Dancing Monk, 2011
Eric Reed, “Ruby, My Dear,” The Dancing Monk, 2011
Eric Reed, “Pannonica,” The Dancing Monk, 2011
Eric Reed, “Rhythm-a-ning,” The Baddest Monk, 2012
Eric Reed, “Evidence,” The Baddest Monk, 2012