Monk Mondays

Jazz pianist and composer, Thelonious MonkIf I’m being honest, playing Thelonious Monk’s music is not my forte. Kenny Barron and Fred Hersch, my two main piano teachers were both true specialists on Monk’s music. Despite this, I’ve mostly steered clear of these peculiar and challenging pieces.

To confront this shortcoming, I have decided to prepare and share short, solo piano renditions of a different Monk tune every Monday throughout 2023. I’m not trying to create polished, finalized recordings of any of these pieces at the moment; I’m just getting myself comfortable with the material. It’s easier to prepare for a weekly video recording of one song than an hour-long solo piano concert six months from now. Maybe a recital will take place in the future; we’ll have to wait and see.

Since I haven’t been concentrating on solo piano playing recently and I’m quite¬†uneasy about being recorded on camera, this endeavor will be a real stretch for me. I’d say, “fingers crossed,” but that wouldn’t be ideal for playing the piano (although Monk could somehow hold a cigarette in one hand and a handkerchief in the other while playing).

January 2, 2023:



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