Composer: Thelonious Monk
Publisher: Thelonious Music Corp.
CD: Thelonious In Action
Label: Riverside / Fantasy Records
1989 Fantasy Records. All Rights Reserved.
Recording Date: August 7, 1958
Personnel: Thelonious Monk, piano; Johnny Griffin, tenor sax; Ahmed Abdul-Malik, bass; Roy Haynes, drums
Title: Blue Monk
Artist: Thelonious Monk
Type of Tune: bebop
Tempo: 116 BPM
Key: Bb Major
Form: 12 bar blues
Devices: standard jazz blues progression with melody that features repeated patterns occuring on different beats in the measure
Scale(s): chromatic, blues, pentatonic, melodic minor
Recurring Patterns: the melody employs two main themes, one that develops and one that repeats in a displaced fashion
Thelonious Monk, a brilliant jazz composer and pianist, was one of the originators of bebop. “Blue Monk” is one of Monk’s best-known compositions partly due to the simple and memorable melody. The element of the tune which is most considered “Monkish" is the use of repeated patterns in the melody in an unusual way: the first melodic phrase is used as a basis for the other phrases which occur on different beats in the measure, phrasing across the bar line (giving that “where am I” quality).