Label: Impex – IMP6020 / Columbia CS 9451
AAA 100% Analogue – Numbered 3,000 Copies Limited Edition
All Valve Mastering by Kevin Gray from the Original Master Tapes – Pressed at RTI
TAS Super LP List! Special Merit: Informal
This mid-period masterwork from jazz piano’s most uncommon voice finds Monk and his quartet (Charlie Rouse on tenor, Ben Riley on drums and Larry Gales on bass) exploring every texture, tone and melodic turn of seven expansive tracks. This group was subtle, mature and confident, easily supporting Monk’s more idiosyncratic side-tracks (check out the solo on “Locomotive” or the restless exposition on “Japanese Folk Song”) while allowing listeners freedom to move through or contemplate all the sublime subtexts Monk conjures from the endless well of his inspiration.
This emphasis on laid back and mature presentation aided the recording as well. These master tapes sound amazing and getting them to disc was a pure pleasure. Subtle changes in atmosphere, tone and melody fill the space between the speakers, a wide soundstage and expansive dynamics the gift of music indelibly played. This is one sonic powerhouse for the ages.
Available for the first time on 180-gram 2-LP with the full performances of the original tracks and including two bonus tracks, this new Impex release gets you closer to Monk’s genius than ever before. Kevin Gray and Robert Pincus used analog master tapes and minimal processing to great effect, while original session and jacket images were culled to create the deluxe gatefold jacket. Add in the sound-of-silence pressings from RTI and you have a can’t miss jazz disc ready to delight and inspire every time it spins on your turntable. Impex has pulled out all the stops on this mesmerizing Monk classic. All you have to do is get one and enjoy before they’re all gone.
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