The Complete Thelonious Monk At The It Club (MRLP-3001)

Mosaic Singles


The Complete Thelonious Monk At The It Club (MRLP-3001)

"It was during the It Club gig documented here that these four individuals showed the first signs of collective greatness." - Bob Blumenthal, liner notes
Limited Edition: 5000 copies

4 LPs (180 gram) -  $100.00


Just Another Night Indeed!

The Thelonious Monk Quartet with Charlie Rouse lasted eleven years. October 31 and November 1, 1964 at the It Club in Los Angeles were just two more nights out of thousands for them, except when it comes to Monk, there were no ordinary nights.

Rouse in his sixth year with Monk had hit his stride, truly becoming Monk's musical alter ego. Remarkably, drummer Ben Riley had joined the quartet at the beginning of 1964 and bassist Larry Gales had only logged in a month at the time of this taping; yet they already show the first signs of collective greatness on these evenings.

The band plays standards, many of Monk's famous tunes, a few lesser known items like "Gallop's Gallop" and "Blues Five Spot" and the recent compositions "Teo" and "Bright Mississippi." Propelled by Gales and Riley, Monk and Rouse deliver amazing ten-minute excursions on such Monk classics as "Nutty," "Rhythm-a-ning," and "Blue Monk."

Monk was at a particular high point pianistically during this gig; in fact, he went into a Los Angeles studio and recorded the album Solo Monk on the afternoons preceding and following the live taping. He is in full force throughout, but his playing is particularly superb on the standards "I'm Getting Sentimental Over You" and the previously unreleased "Sweet And Lovely.".

Mosaic has returned to the original three-track tapes and mixed them down to beautiful sounding analog stereo masters, presenting the six sets they played that night as they happened.

More than 91 years after his birth, and over a quarter century since his passing, evidence that the once supremely iconoclastic Thelonious Monk may have been as central as anyone to the immortal music of both his country and his time continues to mount. In 1998, when the present music was initially released on compact disc, the memory of Monk's visage on a (then 32-cent) first class postage stamp from two years earlier still lingered; a decade later, the posthumous award of a Pulitzer Prize in music was far less shocking. Monk's time - as composer, bandleader and (perhaps most surprising of all) pianist - has indeed come, and shows no sign of passing.

… With performance opportunities increasing, and the wider dissemination of his music that followed his signing with Columbia Records in 1962, Monk found himself able to mold an ensemble that could deliver the lean, infectious, inquisitive readings his compositions invited. Over the course of 1964, he seized that opportunity by assembling what would become his most venerable unit, the quartet that would take his message across America and around the world several times in the latter part of the decade. Charlie Rouse, at the midpoint in his 11 years of service with Monk, was hitting his stride, while Ben Riley and Larry Gales were more recent additions to Monk's universe. It was during the It Club gig documented here that these four individuals showed the first signs of collective greatness. - Bob Blumenthal, liner notes

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  Definitive Monk
I have listened to this set about 5 times already and only bought it a couple of months ago. Monk always wanted his music to be danceable. This set is. The sound on these records is clear as a bell. Very well recorded, the mix is near to perfection, the pressings are flawless. Audiophile quality. The performance is the best Monk in my experience and I have an extensive collection. If you only want a representable example of Monks music, this is the one to get. Fair warning, though, after this youll want more.
Monk's band on a hot night! Sexy, and sophisticated. One of the finest live jazz albums ever released.
  Monk & the Classic Mosaic Boxset Experience
This It Club date is classic. It's obviously a must for Monk fans and this is the best it'll probably sound on vinyl. I want to say I agree with the fellow below who hopes for more vinyl Mosaic. I have 8 CD Mosaic boxes from the last 10 years (all but one OOP), 7 or so Selects and some Singles & was lucky enough to get in on an estate acquisition via my local record store in which I picked up the Art Hodes & Hardee/Quebec sets from 20 years ago. I also bought Volumes 1, 2, & 3 of the Complete Commodore Jazz Recordings that Mosaic put out in the late 80s/early 90s through the same estate sale. And THAT was an experience! Every night spinning those fine-sounding 66 records of Pee Russell, the brilliant!! Willie "The Lion" Smith, Lester Young on clarinet, Billie Holiday's historic Blues sessions which includes Strange Fruit, Eddie Condon and Bennie Goodman's boys, Hawkins, and on and on (obviously I'm still making my way through Vol. 1). And all while reading 130 pages of scholarship and fantastic, priceless pictures. Milt Gabler was amazing! I don't know, but those Commodores helped me understand why Mosaic is what they is...uh, yeah so more vinyl. It's sexy.
  When Will This Be Available Again?
I wish I first asked Mosaic about when this'll be available again, but I would swear it's been almost a year. I mean come on that's frickin' ridiculous. I can't believe I'm asking you to sell this to me like you're doing ME a favor. - Oct. 4, 2012
This is first rate Monk and with an excellent band.
  Essential Music on Good Vinyl
The booklet is a bit lacking but the music is essential Monk. The pressings are quiet and well-done. I can listen to these records endlessly. Another great boxset.
  You'll Not Regret This Purchase
Quiet vinyl, pure sound, great sets, years of listening pleasure. Bought set number #1509 in September of 2010. I only wish Mosaic would go back to releasing more vinyl. I feel fortunate I picked up the Mingus CBS Sessions on am impulse back in college. I wish I had been irresponsible enough to buy a few more sets back then.
  Best Monk ever
So wonderful to hear this complete non-commercial set! Fantastic sound and pressings! A piece of home sent to Berlin.
This has always been a favorite of mine. I've heard it countless times, and yet the Mosaic set still manages to be a revelation. The mastering is incredible. It's the closest I've come to hearing Monk live. Ben Riley's brushes sound gorgeous.
  Everything a great recording can be
In the short time I've owned it this has become a top favorite. It spent literally weeks on my turntable as I've enjoyed each side many times before changing to the next one. You should market this as a time machine, capable of transporting the listener back in time. The playing (and recording!) has a laid-back, liquid quality that is totally engrossing.
Just got set #660. I am deeply in awe at how marvelous these LPs sound. The mix is absolutely fantastic and the vinyl of the highest caliber. Hopefully, Mosaic will continue to release jazz recordings on vinyl. Outstanding job, folks!
  Hot Stuff
This recording catches Monk with a smoken' band - a very inspired gig!! I love this stuff.
Fantastic! As usual this box set is well done by MOSAIC! Thanks for that! MONK and his music LIVES!!!!
  Perfect music. Average booklet
Live at the It Club is a Monk classic. If you do not have this, time to get it, in CD format or this Mosaic LP format. This kind of jazz does not get better than this. The earlier CD reissue and this LP set have complete tracks with complete solos by Monk's band members that were shortened or cut from the original release - perfect club atmosphere. The booklet is a major disappointment. A few photos, three pages of text and one more page for track listings - it is OK but not the kind of booklet one expects to get from Mosaic.

The Complete Thelonious Monk At The It Club (MRLP-3001)
The Complete Thelonious Monk At The It Club (MRLP-3001)
Limited Edition: 5000 copies
4 LPs (180 gram) - $100.00

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