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Unheard Thelonious Monk High School Performance to See Release

on June 19, 2020, 9:09am

A previously unreleased Thelonious Monk live recording from 1968 will finally see light on July 31st through Impulse! Records.

The album captures Monk and his all-star quartet performing a concert at a local high school in Palo Alto, California. According to a press release, the concert was organized by 16-year-old student named Danny Scher, and was recorded by the school’s janitor. The tape was stowed away in Scher’s attic for years and was only recently rediscovered.

T.S. Monk, the son of Thelonious and founder of the Thelonious Monk Institute, called the performance “one of the best live recordings I’ve ever heard by Thelonious.” He added, “I wasn’t even aware of my dad playing a high school gig, but he and the band were on it. When I first heard the tape, from the first measure, I knew my father was feeling really good.”

Below, you can hear Monk’s performance of “Epistrophy” from the concert.

Palo Alto is the first of several planned releases coming from Impulse! Records in conjunction with Thelonious Monk’s estate.

Palo Alto Tracklist:
01. Ruby, My Dear
02. Well, You Needn’t
03. Don’t Blame Me
04. Blue Monk
05. Epistrophy
06. I Love You Sweetheart of All My Dreams

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