Thelonious Monk is considered one of the giants in American music. His playful choice of skewed melodies with interrupted rhythm patterns carved a totally new approach to the music of his day and remains some of the most rewarding in modern jazz.
Brilliant Corners is a studio album with Monk as both band leader and composer. The title track, considered one of his most difficult compositions, proved so complex that 25 separate cuts had to be spliced together to produce the final version.
The album was recorded in three sessions in 1956 with two different quintets. "Ba-lue Bolivar Ba-lues-Are" and "Pannonica", on which Monk played the celeste, were recorded with saxophonists Ernie Henry and Sonny Rollins, bassist Oscar Pettiford, and drummer Max Roach. On “Bemsha Swing” the quintet included Clark Terry, trumpet, replacing Henry and Paul Chambers, bass, replacing Pettiford. Monk alone plays the piano solo on “I Surrender Dear”.
The Helpful Creative album cover below is a reinterpretation of a modern jazz classic.