||[Mar. 14th, 2010|11:42 pm]
An acquaintance last night described the music of Thelonious Monk as conservative. As he's a fan of Ornette Coleman etc I quickly put him right. Its about context. What Monk was doing at Minton's in 1941/2 along with Gillespie, Parker and Clarke was far more radical than what Coleman did. So too was what Miles Davis developed with Bill Evans for kind of blue in 59.|
On both occasions these guys took jazz a big step onwards or in a different direction whereas what ornette did was just follow a progression that gradually moved away from the mainstream.
Listen to what the bebop leaders did themselves in contrast to their work for the likes of Teddy Wilson, the difference is huge. Then look at free jazz evolving through Rollins, Dolphy, Coltrane etc. There is no equivalent jump. And that is why Thelonious Monk is far more radical and more important historically than Ornette Coleman.
And Brilliant Corners remains the greatest jazz album ever.