Brilliant Corners may well be considered the alpha and omega of post-World War II American jazz. No serious jazz collection should be without it. Brilliant Corners is a 1957 album by jazz musician Thelonious Monk. It was his third album for the Riverside label and the first, for this label, to include his own compositions. The complex title track required over a dozen takes in the studio, and is considered one of his most difficult compositions. In 2003, it was one of fifty recordings chosen that year by the Library of Congress to be added to the National Recording Registry. Because of its historical significance the album was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999. The track Pannonica is named for Pannonica de Koenigswarter, a close friend of Monk's. Although Brilliant Corners is Thelonious Monk's third disc for Riverside, it's the first on the label to weigh in with such heavy original material. Enthusiasts who become jaded to the idiosyncratic nature of Monk's playing or his practically arithmetical chord progressions should occasionally revisit Brilliant Corners. There is an inescapable freshness and vitality saturated into every measure of every song. The passage of time makes it all the more difficult to imagine any other musicians bearing the capacity to support Monk with such ironic precision. The assembled quartet for the lion's share of the sessions included Max Roach (percussion), Sonny Rollins (tenor sax), Oscar Pettiford (bass), and Ernie Henry (alto sax). Although a compromise, the selection of Miles Davis' bassist, Paul Chambers, and Clark Terry (trumpet) on "Bemsha Swing" reveals what might be considered an accident of ecstasy, as they provide a timeless balance between support and being able to further the cause musically. Likewise, Roach's timpani interjections supply an off-balanced sonic surrealism while progressing the rhythm in and out of the holes provided by Monk's jackrabbit leads. It's easy to write Monk's ferocity and Forrest Gump-esque ingenuity off as gimmick or quirkiness. What cannot be dismissed is Monk's ability to translate emotions into the language of music, as in the freedom and abandon he allows through Sonny Rollins' and Max Roach's mesmerizing solos in "Brilliant Corners." The childlike innocence evoked by Monk's incorporation of the celeste during the achingly beautiful ode "Pannonica" raises the emotional bar several degrees. Perhaps more pointed, however, is the impassioned "I Surrender, Dear" -- the only solo performance on the album. Brilliant Corners may well be considered the alpha and omega of post-World War II American jazz. No serious jazz collection should be without it. Track Listing: All compositions by Thelonious Monk unless otherwise indicated. Side A "Brilliant Corners" ΓÇô 7:42 "Ba-lue Bolivar Ba-lues-are" ΓÇô 13:24 Side B "Pannonica" ΓÇô 8:50 "I Surrender Dear" (Harry Barris) ΓÇô 5:25 "Bemsha Swing" (Thelonious Monk, Denzil Best) ΓÇô 7:42 Personnel Thelonious Monk ΓÇö piano; celeste on Pannonica Ernie Henry ΓÇö alto saxophone on Brilliant Corners, Ba-lue Bolivar Ba-lues-are and Pannonica Sonny Rollins ΓÇö tenor saxophone Oscar Pettiford ΓÇö double bass on Brilliant Corners, Ba-lue Bolivar Ba-lues-are and Pannonica Max Roach ΓÇö drums; timpani on Bemsha Swing Clark Terry ΓÇö trumpet on Bemsha Swing Paul Chambers ΓÇö double bass on Bemsha Swing Production Orrin Keepnews ΓÇö producer Jack Higgins ΓÇö engineer Joe Tarantino ΓÇö mastering Technical Log RCM Hannl 'limited' with "Rotating Brush" Music Hall MMF 9.1 Turntable Tonearm: Pro-Ject 9cc evo with Pure Silver Wires Cartridge: Nagaoka MP-500 Brocksieper Phonomax (Tube Phono PreAmp) E-MU 0404 external USB 2.0 Audiointerface Interconnections : Silent Wire NF5 WaveLab 6 recording software iZotope RX Advanced 1.21 for resampling and dithering Vacuum cleaning > TT > Brocksieper Phonomax > E-MU 0404 > WaveLab 6 (24/192) > manual click removal > analyze (no clipping, no DC Bias offset) > converted to 24/96 (16/44.1) with iZotope RX Advanced 1.21 > split into individual Tracks > FLAC encoded (Vers. 1.21) No silence been removed, please burn gapless to match original tracklayout. Personal Note With my vinyl rips I try to catch the whole beauty of records. Therefore I don't use any post-processing or any sound improver. What you get is a clear and flat transfer. For getting a clear sound I'll do an extended washing of each record with my RCM, which can take up to 30 minutes brushing for each side. Resistant ticks and clicks I try to remove as good as possible, but the priority is not to loose any musical information. Surface noises, as long they are not to high, are left in place. Only on bad pressings or on records recorded with extremly low level I do a fade in-/-out. As John Peel said, 'Life is full of surface noises'. In some cases this means I have to do a compromise... The result has to pass my personal quality criteria which is IMO quite high.