Yeah, the format might seem a little strange: soprano saxophone, unaccompanied. But Monk’s musical language—its tangy mix of geometric elegance and off-kilter bluesiness—is rarely spoken this eloquently.
Sam Newsome, Thelonious Monk Medley, live, 2008
The clarity and logic of his [Thelonious Monk’s] work might have been compared with the craft of an architect. Each phrase, each fragment, each plump chord had its exact place in his musicial structure.—Mimi Clar (in Robin D. G. Kelley, Thelonious Monk: The Life and Times of an American Original )
‘All jazz musicians are mathematicians unconsciously’ was a favorite theory of Monk’s.—Randy Weston (in Deborah Kapchan, Traveling Spirit Masters: Moroccan Gnawa Trance and Music in the Global Marketplace )