This month, the pianist and composer Thelonious Monk would have celebrated his 96th birthday. While his singular style of piano playing is not necessarily considered BeBop, he is nevertheless sometimes referred to as the “High Priest of Bop,” and his many compositions are canonical in BeBop repertoire (as well as Swing, Hard Bop, and many other styles).
In these videos, pianist Eric Reed pays tribute to Monk in various ways. In this video, he explains Monk’s importance in jazz. In other videos, Eric honors Monk by using Monk’s compositions as vehicles to explain key performance techniques in Jazz, such pieces as Evidence and Rhythm-A-Ning.
Check out the videos, and then be sure to check out some of Monk’s recordings! If you’re not sure where to start, check out his sessions for Blue Note Records, which are largely compiled on The Genius of Modern Music, Volume 1 and The Genius of Modern Music, Volume 2.