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Sunday Morning Music

September 4, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

by Cat Johnson

As the story goes, in 2005 while thumbing through tapes in the Library of Congress, Larry Appelbaum discovered some reels labeled “Carnegie Hall Jazz 1957″ with “T. Monk” handwritten on the back.

Finding lost Thelonious Monk recordings would make any day great, but the heart-racing moment came with the realization that the saxophonist on the tapes was the magnificent John Coltrane.

The rumored existence of these recordings had been a lighthouse of hope for library digger and Jazz professor Lewis Porter for nearly ten years, and he was able to confirm that yes, these were the lost Monk tapes from the Carnegie Hall run, and yes, that was John Coltrane on sax.

The Blue Note release of these recovered recordings was, understandably, a big deal in the jazz world, and if you want a proper jazz critic’s review, there are plenty out there. I’ll just say, as a fan and admirer of both Monk and Coltrane, that this is an amazing find. I try to imagine what the audience felt and thought listening to these future legends play together. Were they aware that they were in the presence of raw genius? What music is being played today that will have us saying “I was there?”

If I could see any show, from any time, this might be the one.

This article originally appeared on House of Cat.

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