A giant of jazz recordings, this 1956 Prestige issue (in beautiful mono, baby!) is one of the Tape Project crew’s favorites.
“Brilliant Corners is a triumph of both performance and conception: the two small-group sessions, anchored by Monk, drummer Max Roach, and the bass work of either Oscar Pettiford or Paul Chambers, feature superb front-line performances by saxophonists Sonny Rollins and the tragically under-recorded Ernie Henry, as well as trumpeter Clark Terry. The title track, which centers the collection, is one of Monk’s most unconventional pieces, skirting whole-tone, chromatic and Lydian scales; a version of “Pannonica” finds Monk doubling on celeste, while the band stretches out on “Bemsha Swing” and the blues “Ba-lue Bolivar Ba-lues-are.” -Fred Goodman
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