It might not be the greatest record in Thelonious Monk's vast catalog, but it truly is the most obscure. First of all it shows the High Priest of American music as a French terrorist (that's what you'd call a resistance fighter today) gone underground. What's wrong with you guys in the art department? You don't have to put him in a studio set full of explosives to tell me he's Underground. Monk is THE Underground. Has always been. Will always be. How about the beautiful terrorist woman in the back, who's she? And the cow? The Nazi? Am I wrong or is Monk just playing a deadly lullaby to the man with the Swastika? „Thelonious“ could certainly kill a Nazi. For sure. DADA 1968.
The more distinct reason though to love this record is another track, which exposes nothing less than the essence of Monk's music. The moment of surprise. It is the only waltz he ever recorded, it is his bow to the great European past. It is the ultimate theme song of the 20th century.