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Thelonious Monk: The Life and Times of an American Original (Anglais) Relié – 19 octobre 2009

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--Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Broché.

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Descriptions du produit

Revue de presse

"Monk’s story, from roots in slavery, to the Great Migration north, to the cultural explosions of the 40s, 50s, and 60s, encapsulates a vivid tableau of twentieth-century American life and music. This biography is, at its best, a fitting tribute to one of America’s most original and lasting creative geniuses." --The Sacramento Book Review

"...extraordinary and heroically detailed...I doubt there will be a biography anytime soon that is as textured, thorough and knowing as Kelley's. The "genius of modern music" has gotten the passionate, and compassionate, advocate he deserves" - August Kleinzahler, The New York Times Book Review

“An omnibus of myth busting.”—Ben Ratliff, The New York Times

"...a massive and impressive undertaking...Thoroughly researched, meticulously footnoted, and beautifully crafted, “Thelonious Monk’’ presents the most complete, most revealing portrait ever assembled of the man known as the high priest of bebop" - Steve Greenlee, The Boston Globe

"Every step of Monk's musical journey is teased out in meticulous detail...whether he's charting the highs or lows of Monk's emotional swings, Kelley rarely strays from his central theme of an extraordinary talent pushing against the boundaries of his art" - Publishers Weekly

"A wealth of historical context is richly studded with details of Monk's family background and the broader world in which he lived and worked...Likely the most thorough possible illumination of the man behind the legend" - Library Journal

“Thelonious Monk was a true original…This affectionate biography fills in the fascinating and heart-wrenching backstory of an artist the world has always longed to know better.” –The Christian Science Monitor

“Robin D.G. Kelley’s exhaustive, necessary, and as of now definitive [book] offers a Baedeker of sorts…Kelley has created a lush portrait of the private, off-camera Monk, one it would have been difficult to paint without the unprecedented access he had to the Monk family.” –David Yaffe, The Nation

“This is an authoritative tome that pulls aside, without completely lifting, the shroud of mystery that has long surrounded one of the most enigmatic figures in the history of jazz.” –Russ Musto, All About Jazz.com

“…as complete a picture of this complex, original and enigmatic artist as possible… this very welcome book is certain to be a go-to reference.” –Down Beat Magazine

“A seminal examination of the man and his music.” Bay State Banner

“Kelley hopes to balance Monk's brilliance and historic achievements with his quirks and serious problems (bipolar disorder) to take the true measure of the man. Dedicated readers of jazz history and students of Cold War and Civil Rights Era culture won't be disappointed.”—The New Haven Advocate

"Robin Kelley's new biography Thelonious Monk: The Life and Times of an American Original is a breath of fresh air among the biographies of our legendary jazz musicians. This book is thorough, detailed, and written with a true affinity for Monk's humaneness and creative musical output. It fills in the missing pieces about the growth of the jazz scene in New York through the forties, fifties, and sixties, detailing each step of Monk's development -- who passed through his bands, what gigs he played, and what happened on those scenes. It's an invaluable and close look at the center of the world's most important creative musical developments in those decades: New York City." -- CHICK COREA

"Thelonious Monk: The Life and Times of an American Original is one of the most anticipated books in jazz scholarship, and well worth the wait. Robin D. G. Kelley represents one of this generation's most important voices equipped with the knowledge, passion, and respect for both jazz and jazz musicians required to interpret the many details and nuances of Thelonious Monk's life. This compelling book will both challenge old assumptions and inspire new assessments of the life and legacy one of the world's greatest musicians." -- GERI ALLEN, pianist, composer, and Associate Professor of Jazz & Contemporary Improvisation, University of Michigan

"Powerful, enraging, and enduring.... In Robin Kelley's finely grained and surely definitive lifeand-times study, Thelonious Monk, an American original, has found an original biographer." -- DAVID LEVERING LEWIS, biographer of W. E. B. Du Bois and Pulitzer Prize winner

"An honest and eloquent treatment of one of our most important artists, Thelonious Monk: The Life and Times of an American Original is a stunning tour de force! It is the most comprehensive treatment of Monk's life to date. Furthermore, in Monk's story, Kelley has found the perfect medium to shed light on a nation's, and a people's, history and persistent quest for freedom. In so doing he has given us a book that is as bold, brilliant, and beautiful as Monk and his music." -- FARAH JASMINE GRIFFIN, author of If You Can't Be Free, Be a Mystery: In Search of Billie Holiday --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Broché .

Présentation de l'éditeur

THELONIOUS MONK is the critically acclaimed, gripping saga of an artist’s struggle to “make it” without compromising his musical vision. It is a story that, like its subject, reflects the tidal ebbs and flows of American history in the twentieth century. To his fans, he was the ultimate hipster; to his detractors, he was temperamental, eccentric, taciturn, or childlike. His angular melodies and dissonant harmonies shook the jazz world to its foundations, ushering in the birth of “bebop” and establishing Monk as one of America’s greatest com­posers. Elegantly written and rich with humor and pathos, Thelonious Monk is the definitive work on modern jazz’s most original composer. --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Broché .

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Détails sur le produit

  • Relié: 588 pages
  • Editeur : Free Press (19 octobre 2009)
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ISBN-10: 0684831902
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684831909
  • Dimensions du produit: 23,5 x 16,8 x 4,4 cm
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 5.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (2 commentaires client)
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: 230.311 en Livres anglais et étrangers (Voir les 100 premiers en Livres anglais et étrangers)
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3 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile  Par Benichou le 3 août 2010
Format: Relié
Ce livre est une merveille et surpasse les bio en français, quelles que soient leurs qualités (Postif, De Wilde). L'auteur a eu accès à des données inédites et l'ouvrage reste centré sur la musique de Monk. J'aime encore davantage Monk après l'avoir lu.
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2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile  Par davidoff le 30 août 2010
Format: Relié
J'avais initialement, après avoir lu toutes les critiques positives sur Internet, acheté ce livre pour mon compagnon qui est passionné de Jazz. Il s'agissait d'un pari risqué. résultat après le lui avoir offert et demandé son avis, il m'a dit qu'il était ravi, ce livre figure dans les premières places de sa liste de favoris...
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Amazon.com: 93 commentaires
145 internautes sur 153 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Par Stuart Jefferson - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
588 pages,including acknowledgments,appendices,notes,and compositions by Monk. This adds up to 129 pages out of the total. The paper used is a cream-white,and the the type-face is straight forward,clean and,together,make for an easy read. There are 16 pages of black and white photographs,starting with Monk's parents,on through his family,and several of Monk playing on the bandstand. These are a valuable addition,and give some depth to the writing.

This is an important book on Thelonious Monk. Not only his music,but an in-depth look at the person behind the music. The author,Robin Kelley,delved into Monk's life for ten years,with access to family papers and private recordings. In doing so Kelley has produced the first book to accurately portray what made Monk "tick". Many books talk about Monk the "hipster",the jazz player who wore hats (believe it or not,this was thought to be important) not in keeping with the current fashion of the day,the outspoken man who most deemed overly critical,and,an eccentric. Was Monk temperamental? Absolutely. Did he act in ways outside "normal" behavior? Yes. Was Monk a true eccentric? Probably most certain. But in this well written book the author digs deeply into Monk's life,starting with his upbringing,his family ties and influence,his early life,jail,and his mental and physical disorders,his one true love in life,Nellie,and his many friends (Baroness Nica de Koenigswarter for example),and associates in the music world.

This book shows why Monk--was Monk. His mother's encouragement to follow his own path,early in Monk's life,set him on his own individual path. The many people who misunderstood Monk (Bill Evans,for example,thought Monk's musical ability was because he was not exposed to Western music forms-not true),which led to the popular myth of Monk being some sort of musical savant,who had little knowledge of the "outside" world. In reality,Monk worked very hard at his music,and even harder to achieve his own individualistic sound. As for his perceived eccentricities,in this book Monk is shown to be a devoted family man,a man who was generous to his friends,but was also incredibly honest in his opinions and at times was brutally honest to a fault. His mental illness,and it's affects on not only his music,but his life are also brought into context with his views on people and life. In addition,readers get a good view of jazz,in N.Y. City,in the forties and fifties,into the sixties,and the many musicians who Monk employed,and played with on the bandstand.

Above all,Monk had a genuine love for music,especially his own,and that comes through clearly in this great book. Not only do readers (and listeners of his music) learn more about his music,that in the past,was sorely lacking,they get to know the man behind this incredible music. If you're not familiar with Monk's music,check out his album "Brilliant Corners",or his early stuff on Blue Note Records,or his superb (2 CD) solo recordings on Columbia records,for examples of his writing and playing skills. If you aren't familiar with these albums,I envy you your hearing this music for the first time. For anyone who listens to Monk's music and wonders,what kind of person could write such powerful,evocative music-this book will give the answers. Monk's music can be enjoyed to an even greater extent,after reading this well researched,well written book,on one of jazz's greatest composers and musicians.
69 internautes sur 71 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Monk in perspective 28 octobre 2009
Par a musician - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
If you're interested in jazz, post war urban American history or just enjoy reading well written biographies...buy this book. Deftly written, extremely well researched and highly readable this book is a great acheivemment.

Being a professional musician I have read many music bios (jazz and otherwise) and this ranks among the best. Robin Kelley clearly has a love for his subject and as an amateur pianist he writes intelligently about Monk and his music. But don't expect this book to be an academic bore. His detailed account of Monk, his circle of musician friends and the clubs he played made me feel like I was there. I could smell the cigarette smoke and hear the jam sessions at Minton's and feel the atmosphere of the San Juan Hill neighborhood where Monk grew up and lived for so many years. You'll find yourself in the back of a TV repair shop where pianists (known and unknown) jammed and shared ideas and eavesdrop on rehearsals at Monks apartment and Hall Overton's loft...and so much more.

Kelley had unprecedented access to the Monk family archives and in every step of the book it shows. But more importantly Kelley is a great writer that weaves the details into a saga of post war African American life. Perhaps most importantly, Kelley debunks the myth of Monk as some sort of idiot savant or "noble savage" that inherited his genius by osmosis. Monk worked damn hard to create his art and Kelly takes you along every step of the way. Poignant, funny, sad and triumphant this book's got it all covered. Do yourself a favor and check it out.

"Two is one and one is two".
41 internautes sur 42 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Monk- A labor of love 17 novembre 2009
Par A. Panemangalore - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
I approached this book with trepidation..there have been so many bios of Monk,Trane,Miles...and the 700 page hardbound looked a fearsome mix of dry research and lofty pronouncements. My scepticism rapidly gave way to ceaseless absorption as I devoured the pages..Not since Ross Russell's 'Bird Lives' have I torn though a biography of an artiste one has revered over the decades
Painstakingly researched and passionately written with a strong story line,"Monk" grips the reader from start to finish.The author gets behind the Monk character and psyche to portray what made him tick,how did he think and what went behind the man whose compositions and playing style continue to captivate millions even today as it confused thousands during his time.One lives and breathes each scene as you sit along with Monk as he relentlessly composes each of his tunes, rehearses with his sidemen and makes his recordings.

You are with him and the other greats at his gigs at Mintons, Five Spot, the 52nd Street clubs, Newport and all of Europe You are by his side as he scuffles and suffers poverty,house fires,mental illness,ridicule by critics and social ostracization....before gaining recognition.. You come within talking and breathing distance of Diz, Bird,Coltrane,Miles,Charlie Rouse,Bud Powell,Elmo Hope, and so many more that one has heard and read about.... its unbelievably realistic...
If you are a jazz person, this book has to be by your bedside, not just on your shelf
21 internautes sur 23 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Well, six stars for the scholarship, 3.5 for the writing, and all it lacks is... 18 mars 2010
Par William E. Adams - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
a "Reader's Digest Condensed" version so that casual fans can learn the essentials about Monk's life and career, without having to invest a month in reading all the details of his daily life presented here. The book is a good thing...but too much of a good thing for lovers of Monk's albums who are neither musicians nor historians of black life in the early 20th century. It's not just Monk's genealogy that gets into print, but that of his wife and some of his friends. We don't get a brief background of his major sidemen, we get extensive histories of some, and some history on almost everyone who ever played with Monk, even for a single outing. In addition, the history of NYC jazz clubs is detailed. I love Monk's music and I was glad I struggled through this massive work, and met Thelonious the real person, who loved his family, struggled against poorly understood manic depression, dabbled in hard drugs without becoming addicted, and was broke until about the last ten years of his long career. For decades, he got paying music work too seldom, then he hit a stretch in which he perhaps worked too much. For decades, he got too little attention from record buyers and club owners in spite of his innovations at the keyboard. I started my jazz listening as a teen, afraid of Monk. That was 50 years ago, and Brubeck, Bill Evans, Oscar Peterson and George Shearing were all I could handle, being a square white kid with little money or life experience. I actually did not own a Monk album until ten years ago. Since then, I've owned ten or more, and he is the one jazz pianist who gets extensive repeat listening from me. Yes, he played the same 20 original tunes over and over with different size groups, different instrumentation, at different lengths, and when he was in different moods...no one track of one of his "hits" sounds exactly like the next one. Listen to one of his songs on the labels Blue Note, Prestige, Riverside and Columbia, covering the late '40's to the late 60's, and find four different sensations. Most important, listen to solo Monk on any of those labels. He gets more out of a single note, or one repeated phrase, then I thought possible. If you fall in love with Thelonious, buy this book. I got my copy from the library, and had to renew it in order to finish it. I recommend "Monk's Dream" and "Monk Alone" on Columbia for beginners. If those please you, then search for his earlier products. He was really extraordinary, and this biography is a fitting tribute to his importance.
13 internautes sur 14 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Will please both serious and casual fans 20 novembre 2009
Par J-Rock - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
This is a lengthy biography written by a college professor who clearly loves his subject and possesses the chops to give him his due. I was suprised Kelley is writing about this. I'm more familiar with him as a leftist black intellectual and I was not aware of his own musical background. As a musician and a black intellectual, I feel that he was able to gain both the trust of the Monk family and access to some of the more private recordings that have not been released from T.S. Monk. T.S. Monk, called "Toot" in the book, Nellie, and Boo Boo all have prominent voices and are heavily quoted. But there's a lot of academic research as well and he goes through just about every recording date and many of the issues surrounding Monk's substance abuse, psychological issues, and adversarial relationships with the cabaret card licensing that kept him away from the clubs.

It's always illuminating to see the stories and backdrop that produced much of the music. The positive reinforcement between the Five Spot and Monk that helped him get back on his feet was so crucial and I was unaware how much he came back to the club to perform after the historic work with Coltrane and Johnny Griffin.

One thing that struck me is how much of Monk's work is simply about earning bread as a musician. It was very illuminating to see how this bebop musician who couldn't get a cabaret club was propelled to a Time cover and playing benefit concerts for his children's private schools, a degree of social accpetance that Bird never achieved.

The one area where Kelley may have been less equipped is in assessing whether Monk was bipolar and how that impacted his music. There's an interesting online article on this issue at [...]. It's very tough to retroactively assess this and I wish there had been some more professional doctors to comment on the diagnosis that Kelley accepts with out much debate in the book.

For someone who had been marginalized it's clear that there was a sharp contrast between down times where he could be himself without resources and the pressures of producing for a major label in Columbia that expected him to approach the successes of label mates Duke Ellington, Miles Davis, and Dave Brubeck.

I hope that anyone who picks up this book will invest in at least 5 Monk albums, especially Genius of Modern Music on Blue Note, Monk with Coltrane, Monk's Music, Brilliant Corners and one of the sessions with Charlie Rouse, a stabilizing force in Monk's more popularly appreciated band.

Anyways I could write so much more about this book. It had me enthralled for about 4 days and I strongly recommend it, a magisterial tribute to a profoundly signicant artist.

4.5 stars
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