Brilliant Corners – Thelonious Monk (1957)

Album no. 10/1001

In a weird turn of jazz events, CHRISTIE DIDN’T HATE THIS ONE.

But let’s get even jazzier! Thelonious Monk had (I looked this up) an ‘unorthodox’ approach to the piano, and common features of his music are ‘dissonances’ and ‘angular melodic twists’.

Have you listened to this album before?

NK: I certainly haven’t. There’s a theme developing with a lot of the jazz albums, and that theme is: I have never heard of them.

CL: No, and I’m not looking forward to it. What’s so brilliant about a corner? This doesn’t bode well. It’s probably some weird, abstract jazzy concept that will fly right over my head. OH GOD THERE’S ONLY 6 SONGS BUT THEY ALL GO FOR MORE THAN 8 MINUTES.

Standout track?

NK: Man, I miss vocals. Remember the Chirping Crickets two days ago? They had lyrics. Not always amazing lyrics, but people singing really added something! They helped you tell the songs apart, that’s for sure. This is probably the chillest of the jazz albums so far? I don’t know, when they picked up the pace and got a move on it was better, but there’s too much noodling about for my taste. Listen to ‘Brilliant Corners’, if you get into that give the rest of it a go.

CL: Tell you what, there’s a pretty mad drum solo on ‘Brilliant Corners’ that certainly puts me in mind of Whiplash, which is, quite rightly, one of the best movies of all time. Also, is ‘Ba-Lue Boliver Ba-Lues-Are‘ just a different version of Cruella De Vil from 101 Dalmations? They sound like the same song.

When would be the best time to listen to this ?

NK: Parts of this are kiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiind of sleazy! I reckon play it in the foyer of an underground cinema that’s playing blue movies.

CL: It’s pretty swanky, there’s some tasty saxophone…But it’s background music. Although there’s some weird xylophone solo in the middle, so maybe don’t play it at night in a room of children’s toys?

Why has this album been included on the list?

NK: This is the slowest and most meandering of everything so far. I reckon they’re seeing what sort of wanky jazz they can get away with. This isn’t that bad, but it certainly isn’t very focused. Some of the playing is really good as well. It’s shame they chose to play this.

CL: I am really surprised this was only released in 1956. That’s kind of blowing my mind actually because there’s a lot of modern sounds coming out of this record.

Will you be listening again?

NK: Nah, you can keep this one Thelonious. Good on you, obviously, but this is not for me.

CL: Ok. So I came into this, KNOWING I wouldn’t enjoy it. So I’m really surprised to find myself saying that it WASN’T AS BAD AS I THOUGHT. I mean, I got through it without turning it off. 

NK: I can’t believe that of the jazz albums this is the one you’ve decided ‘you know what, not bad!’. This one wanders about all over the place, every song goes on forever, there’s not even an mc yelling stuff. I liked Duke Ellington waaaaaaaaaaaaay more than this.

Rating

NK:This is possibly one of the worst things I’ve ever heard. I’m removing it from my iTunes without delay. It was offensive to my eardrums.

CL: This is possibly one of the worst things I’ve ever heard. I’m removing it from my iTunes without delay. It was offensive to my eardrums.This is possibly one of the worst things I’ve ever heard. I’m removing it from my iTunes without delay. It was offensive to my eardrums.

Out of context youtube comment

10 - Brilliant Corners

Listen to Brilliant Corners on Spotify or buy it in iTunes.

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