It’s an amazing thing to see that a long lost and brand newly released Thelonious Monk Quartet with John Coltrane live recording from 1957 sitting at number 1 on the Amazon charts. It reminds me back ten years ago when the Robert Johnson box set sat atop the Billboard charts.
Following his legendary stint with Miles Davis, Saint John Coltrane joined Monk for a five month stint, a period which until now, had been documented by a scant five studio recorded tunes. For decades now, rumors had abounded about a live recording of the two geniuses…
From NPR comes this description of the finding of these truly historical recordings:
“One day in late January, Larry Appelbaum was thumbing through some old Voice of America audiotapes about to be digitized at the Library of Congress when he made a discovery that would stun him and many other jazz fans.
Eight 10-inch reels of acetate tape were labeled “Carnegie Hall Jazz 1957.” One of the tape boxes had a handwritten note on the back that said “T. Monk” with some song titles.
Appelbaum, a jazz specialist at the Library of Congress, got excited at the prospect of finding unpublished materials by the jazz master Thelonious Monk. Then he heard another distinctive sound. “I recognized the tenor saxophone of John Coltrane and my heart started to race,” Appelbaum says.
The Nov. 29, 1957, concert was recorded by the Voice of America but never broadcast. For years, the recordings were lost and forgotten. Now, thanks to Appelbaum’s discovery, Blue Note Records is releasing them.”