Misterioso

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Thelonious Monk Quartet / 爵士 / 1958

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Misterioso is a live album by American jazz ensemble the Thelonious Monk Quartet, released in 1958 by Riverside Records. Pianist and composer Thelonious Monk had overcome an extended period of career difficulties by the time of his 1957 residency at the Five Spot Café in New York City. He returned to the venue the following year for a second residency and recorded Misterioso on August 7, 1958, leading a quartet that featured drummer Roy Haynes, bassist Ahmed Abdul-Malik, and tenor saxophonist Johnny Griffin.
Misterioso and its title track refer to Monk's reputation as an enigmatic, challenging musician. The album's cover art, which appropriates Giorgio de Chirico's 1915 painting The Seer, was part of Riverside's attempt to capitalize on Monk's popularity with listeners such as the intellectual and bohemian audiences at the Five Spot Café. The album features four of his earlier compositions, which Monk reworked live. It was one of the first successful live recordings of his music and was produced by Orrin Keepnews, who said that Monk played more distinctly than on his studio albums in response to the audience's enthusiasm.
In contemporary reviews of Misterioso, music critics complimented Monk's performance but were critical of Griffin, whose playing they felt was out of place with the quartet. It was remastered and reissued in 1989 and 2012 by Original Jazz Classics. Since its initial reception, the album has received retrospective acclaim from critics, who viewed Griffin's playing as a highlight.

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Nutty [Live]

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