WBGO program explores historic Monk/Coltrane recordings
Omaha, Nebraska – In January 2005 a historic discovery was made.
Larry Appelbaum, the recording lab supervisor at the Library of Congress, came across a series of tapes, one labeled "T.Monk", while transferring the library's tape archive to digital.
The tapes turned out to be of a performance of Thelonious Monk with John Coltrane at Carnegie Hall in November 1957, recorded by the Voice of America and shelved for decades. The astonishment at this discovery, felt first by Applebaum, has amazed countless jazz fans since.
This historic find is examined in detail in a radio documentary, Evidence: Thelonious Monk Quartet with John Coltrane at Carnegie Hall, to be rebroadcast Friday on KIOS.
The documentary examines in detail the process that led to the unearthing of these long-lost tapes as well as the tapes themselves, which are now available on compact disc.
Comprised of two tightly paced, 25 minute sets, At Carnegie Hall documents the band at its stellar peak, with Thelonious Monk at the piano, John Coltrane on saxophone, Shadow Wilson on drums, and Ahmed Abdul-Malik on bass. Unlike previous recordings of the band, the band member's interactions are seamless, cohesive, and not tentative. The music flows from one magical moment to another, in a series of performances of mostly Monk originals. What's more, the sound of the recording is excellent and contemporary. The recording is a must have for any jazz collection.
The documentary is produced by Josh Jackson for WBGO-FM and Joe Morton is the host.
Evidence: Thelonious Monk Quartet with John Coltrane at Carnegie Hall, will be rebroadcast at 1pm Friday on KIOS.