Thursday, November 27, 2008


Monk welcome to my blog. I am thrilled you could visit on such short notice. Where is Nellie? She woke up sick. She decided to stayed home. Yesterday she baked this sweet potato pie for you. She wanted to deliver it herself. She never visit someone empty handed. Thank you. Give me your coat. Make yourself comfortable. Sure, you can keep your hat on. I will be right back. I want to get a pie cutter and two forks so we can eat the pie before it gets cold.

Do you want something to drink? I have Aquafina bottled spring water, Motts apple juice, Silk’s vanilla favored soymilk, and a liter diet Mountain Dew. If I had known Nellie planned to send a pie, I would have purchased a pint of Soy Delicious soy ice cream.

Do you want a small slice or a big one? You do not want any right now. That is fine, but do not wait too long. The pie maybe gone before we finished talking. Sweet potato pie is my favorite, by the way.

Who is that I have playing? That’s Seal’s new album “Seal Soul”. I got the album Friday at Borders Books in Grosse Pointe, MI. Seal is a good singer. The album is a remake of some classic Soul songs such as “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long“, “It’s a Man’s World”, and “It’s Alright”. I love the album.

Yes, It is okay if you want to dance. When I first hear “Seal Soul”, I wanted to dance as well, but I did not because I have no rhythm. Sure, go ahead laugh I am telling you the truth. What else have I listened to lately?

Some of your albums. Last Sunday, I listened to Thelonious Monk the Complete Prestige Recordings. I bought the box set years ago, but Sunday was the first time I listened to it. Why did I wait so long? Honestly, Monk I do not know. I had fun listening to the three discs, particularly the disc where you played with Coleman Hawkins and Sonny Rollins.

I damn near worn a hole in disc one. I have listened to a “Little Rootie Tootie” so many times I can recite the chord changes in my sleep. In the liner notes, I read you wrote a “Little Rootie Tootie” for drummer TS Monk, your son. In 2004, I interviewed him. The Metrotimes, a weekly newspaper in Detroit, published the article. Monkin’ Around was the headline.

TS corrected misconceptions I had about you. Most of the books written about your life and music were inaccurate, he said. He said you were a devoted husband and great dad. You encourage TS when he wanted to become a jazz drummer. You called in a favor. You had drummer Art Blakey give TS a set of drums and free lessons.

TS also defended you. He told me you were not distant or eccentric. If people wanted to contact you, they could have found your number in the phonebook. Monk If you want to read the article, I will email it to you.

I watched videos of you posted on YouTube. I posted three of them on this blog page. Look to your left you will see them. When I watched the videos my ears danced, and I followed the movement of your hand left hand as if hypnotized.

I wonder what you thought about when tenor saxophonist Charlie Rouse soloed on Lu LU is Back in Town. You stepped away from the piano, and you twirled. I became a little woozy watching you. The same day, I listened to three of my favorite Monk albums “Solo Monk”, “Thelonious Monk Plays Duke Ellington” and the “Thelonious Monk Quartet Plus Two at the Blackhawk”.

“Thelonious Monk Plays Duke Ellington” was the first time I heard you play another musician’s music. Did Ellington encourage you to record his material? Once you completed the album, did Ellington give you feedback?

“Solo Monk”. Do you remember that album? On the cover was an illustration of you dressed in a brown bomber jacket, a white silk scarf flung around your neck, and a leather aviator’s hat with goggles. I imagined you made “Solo Monk” in Pannonica de Koenigswarter’s mansion you nicknamed the cathouse because she owned 140 cats. I envisioned you locked in a room while you composed jewels such as Dianh, Ruby, My Dear, Ask Me Now, and I Surrendered, Dear.

Monk would you mind if I turned off “Seal Soul”, and play Solo Monk? The ballad Rudy, My Dear is your best love song. Last week, I listened to your live date the Thelonious Monk Quartet Plus Two at the Blackhawk”.

The audience was inattentive. That upset me. You played some of your best material that night “Epistrophy”, ‘Evidence”, and ‘Round Midnight. The people at the club yapped nonstop. Monk, I wanted to jump inside the album and shout: “Will you people please shut up. Don’t you realize the high priest of be bop is on stage, and you all are ignoring him like a panhandler”.

Monk, I will be right back. My phone is ringing; I have to answer it.

Monk it is Nellie. She wants to know when you will be home. Okay, I will tell her you will be leaving soon. She wants you to stop at the drugs store, and get her some Night Quill and a quart of orange juice.

I did not realize we have talked so long. I better let you go. I forgot to thank Nellie for the pie. Tell her I hope she feels better soon, and the next time you visit, she will come too.
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