Thelonious Monk at Town Hall

Live Broadcast, February 26, 2009 at 8 pm on 93.9FM

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Thursday, February 26, 2009

On the 50th anniversary of Thelonious Monk's seminal 1959 orchestra performance at Town Hall, bandleader Charles Tolliver celebrates with a recreation of that legendary event. WNYC carries the entire concert live, with Evening Music host Terrance McKnight and writer Sam Stephenson, director of the Jazz Loft Project at the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University.

This event was presented by Duke University & produced by Duke Performances & Duke's Center for Documentary Studies.

Slideshow: Monk@TownHall

Thelonious Monk and the Jazz Loft Project

Airs Thursday at 7PM on 93.9FM
Sam Stephenson joins Terrance McKnight for this pre-concert feature, which sheds light on Thelonious Monk's early career and the significance of the historic 1959 Town Hall Concert. Also covered are the Jazz Loft Project itself and newly discovered Monk rehearsals, and the role ...


Monk@TownHall, 1959

Airs Thursday at 8PM on 93.9FM
Trumpeter/bandleader Charles Tolliver celebrates the 50th anniversary of Thelonious Monk's seminal 1959 orchestra performance at Town Hall with a recreation of that historic event. Hosted by WNYC's Terrance McKnight and Jazz Loft director Sam Stephenson, the concert also features jazz stalwarts Stanley Cowell, ...


Comments [15]

Town car Los Angeles from LA

This great! great to have info on wonderful historic event!

Jun. 08 2010 03:48 PM
Ken from Charlottesville

Many thanks to WNYC for putting this show online. In 1986 the Chicago Jazz Fest featured a recreation of this concert. The Thelonious Monk Orchestra Reunion band was:
Don Sickler, musical co-ordinator/ Hall Overton, arranger; Don Sickler, Tom Harrell, trumpets; Eddie Bert, trombone; Steve Lacy, Phil Woods, Charlie Rouse, Howard Johnson, saxophones; Mal Waldron, piano; Cecil McBee, bass; Ben Riley, drums.

At least one commentator at the time thought they played better than the original unit.

Mar. 02 2009 02:13 PM
Richard Cutler from New York, NY

Last night's concert was marvelous because it wasn't a duplication but more an emulation of the 1959 event. Charles Tolliver should be applauded for understanding that one can pay homage to the spirit of Monk through a personal lens. And if there has ever -ever- been a better performance of "In Walked Bud," I want to know about it. Stanley Cowell was just a magnificent choice for Monk's spot in the orchestra.

Feb. 27 2009 11:24 AM
David Earl from Washington, DC

Could only find the preview of the show, no review:

Feb. 27 2009 09:20 AM
David Earl from Washington, DC

Could only find the preview of the show, no review:

Feb. 27 2009 09:20 AM
David Earl from Washington, DC

Could only find the intro to the show, no review:

Feb. 27 2009 09:18 AM
Richard Mitnick from Highland Park ,NJ

I cannot believe that in today's New York Times there is not one line about this concert.

Somebody please give me a page number.

Feb. 27 2009 08:50 AM
Richard Mitnick from Highland Park ,NJ

I was in the car, I was listening to the music of Thelonius Monk, yet I kept hearing Leonard Bernstein.

Lenny knew how to listen

Feb. 26 2009 10:32 PM
Thorns Craven from Winston-Salem

Thank you for making this concert available. I remember buying the record when it came out and being overwhelmed with how the arrangements tracked the early trio recordings. I've always thought more could be done in this vein. Maybe this effort will inspire others to rework some of the great music of our time.

The musicians on this date sounded terrific, and that second Little Rootie Tootie had all the energy of the first concert.

Thanks again!

Feb. 26 2009 10:06 PM
Steve Fairley from Los Angeles

There's a little "faux pas" there in my commemt.

There is a little "faux pas" in my commemts. Instead of "recreation" it should be "re-creation". It may indeed be recreation in a sense, but this event is on a much higher level.

Feb. 26 2009 09:09 PM
Thomas Jordan from Kingston, New York

I wish I was able to catch the show from the beginning. Just the same, thanks guys for broadcasting this historic concert. Sounds great!

Feb. 26 2009 09:08 PM
Tom Doyle from Roxbury CT

VERY disapointed in the Monk tribute at Town Hall. I can't believe they managed to mangle Monk and it took 12 years to do it. It was not a tribute, but an orchestration (not unlike MUSAK) of something that should have been left as it was - particularly if this was supposed to be a 'tribute'.

Feb. 26 2009 08:50 PM
Steve Fairley from Los Angeles

I want to thank WNYC for broadcasting this recreation of the historic recording of Thelonius Monk's Town Hall session some 50 years ago. I have a cd of this and I'll be listening to it as soon as this broadcast is over. I'm so much digging this. Charles Tolliver and the other musicians are to be commemended for their outstanding musicianship and interpretations of Mr. Monk's compositions . Again, thanks for your recognition of this important and monumental event.

Feb. 26 2009 08:46 PM
Jake Tamarkin from Brooklyn

This concert is awesome! Thank you so much for broadcasting this historic event!

Feb. 26 2009 08:35 PM
Tom Wayburn from Houston, Texas

This is the 50th anniversary of a concert by two very important musicians: Thelonius Monk and Hall Overton.

During the summer of 1980 I was evicted from the third floor of 821 6th Avenue in New York City where I had been hosting jam sessions that were recorded using Neumann U-87 mikes and high-quality home-recording equipment. Among others the legendary pianist Chris Anderson and the great folk singer Karen Dalton were in frequent attendance. I believe we were the last musicians to play in the historical dwellings described so well by Sam Stephenson. It is odd that several years earlier I had assisted Eugene Smith when he moved out of the same space after being evicted. In 1973 I replaced Wayne Martens who operated a photo processing lab there between acting jobs.

Feb. 26 2009 12:37 AM

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