Album Review: Palo Alto by Thelonious Monk

Palo Alto is a new release by an older artist. It is a live album from Thelonious Monk, recorded when he performed at Palo Alto High School in California, in 1968. Although Monk passed away in 1982, this performance has only been recently released. 

Monk and the rest of his quartet show mastery of each of their respective instruments over the course of the performance. With Charlie Rouse on saxophone, Larry Gales on bass, Ben Riley on drums, and Monk on piano, each gets their own chance to shine on an album worth remembering. They all give it their all, and none of the songs become tiring. I was surprised by this as some of the songs are very long—one even reaches 14 minutes!

I enjoyed how each instrument had their own time to shine, and none of them outshined the other. It was interesting that since the album was a live performance, Palo Alto wasn’t full of brand new songs, but a mix of some popular songs that the artist had made.

 Overall this was a very good listen and I would recommend the album. It wasn’t very long (only 47 minutes) and was engaging the whole way through. 

Source:

Spotify “About the Artist” page for Thelonious Monk, Ben Riley, Larry Gales, and Charlie Rouse.

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