Improvised Music Company

WAX ON #5 Thelonious Monk

The revolutionary records and iconic artists that shaped jazz

THELONIOUS MONK WAX ON #5

Presented in association with The Record Spot, Dublin, WAX ON is both a listening party, placing the needle in the groove of a collection of favourite jazz albums, as well as an intimate space for story-telling and reflections.

For the fifth WAX ON event, we will be listening to the recordings and discussing the life of jazz pianist Thelonious Monk.

Thelonious Monk was one of the first creators of modern jazz and bebop. For much of his career, Monk played with small groups at Minton's Playhouse in New York. Many of his compositions have become jazz standards, including "Well, You Needn't," "Blue Monk" and "Round Midnight."

Through the 1940’s, Monk played with numerous groups and helped develop the school of jazz known as bebop. Alongside Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie, he explored the fast, jarring, and often improvised styles that would later become synonymous with modern jazz.

In 1957, the Thelonious Monk Quartet, which included John Coltrane, began performing regularly at the Five Spot in New York. Enjoying huge success, they went on to tour the United States and even make some appearances in Europe. By the 1960’s, Monk had gained more mainstream popularity as well as critical recognition, signing with Columbia Records. In 1964, Monk became one of four jazz musicians ever to grace the cover of Time Magazine.

As a pioneering performer who managed to slip almost invisibly through the jazz community during the first half of his career, the extent of Monk’s creative genius was not appreciated until later into his career. His unusual chord voicings and techniques which were originally regarded as too eccentric were later emulated by other musicians and earned him the status of one of jazz’s most important musicians.

Monk left a legacy a true originator in jazz music and had an immeasurable influence on the musicians he worked with, many of which went on to become important figures of jazz.

Join IMC and a curated panel of passionate music lovers at the second event of our new series WAX ON to enjoy some of Louis’ most influential recordings and stories from his incredible career.

Moderated by Irish Times music critic Cormac Larkin with a panel of jazz aficionados, Wax On brings you on a journey through the life and recordings of some of the most influential and important artists of the jazz genre.