Thelonious Sphere Monk (October 10, 1917 – February 17, 1982) was an American jazz pianist and composer who, according to The Penguin Guide to Jazz, was "one of the giants of American music". Monk had a unique improvisational style and made numerous contributions to the standard jazz repertoire, including "Epistrophy," "'Round Midnight," "Blue Monk," "Straight, No Chaser" and "Well, You Needn't."Which brings me to the other strange thing. Buddhism. I love the story telling skill of John Burdett and his mysteries of Bangkok. I just started reading the fourth in his series, The Godfather of Kathmandu.
Often regarded as a founder of bebop, Monk's playing later evolved away from that style. His compositions and improvisations are full of dissonant harmonies and angular melodic twists, and are impossible to separate from Monk's unorthodox approach to the piano, which combined a highly percussive attack with abrupt, dramatic use of silences and hesitations.
Monk's manner was idiosyncratic. Visually, he was renowned for his distinctively "hip" sartorial style in suits, hats and sunglasses. He was also noted for the fact that at times, while the other musicians in the band continued playing, he would stop, stand up from the keyboard and dance for a few moments before returning to the piano. One of his regular dances consisted of continuously turning in a counterclockwise fashion, which has drawn comparisons to ring-shout and Sufi whirling.
How this all comes together with my son's visit, I'll have to let you know.