Thelonious Monk: Straight No Chaser

Thelonious Monk: Straight No Chaser

1988, Performing Arts  -   7 Comments
Ratings: 7.00/10 from 9 users.

Thelonious Monk - Straight No Chaser (1988)Expanding on footage of Monk's 1967 tour shot by Christian Blackwood, Charlotte Zwering (Gimme Shelter) has created the definitive filmic portrait of the master bop pianist-composer. This captivating DVD digs deeper into the life of the famously eccentric pianist-composer than the Ken Burns's tepid coffeetable documentary Jazz ever thought to.

A few shades different than the Burns film's monosyllabic, near-silent weirdo, Straight, No Chaser fleshes out Monk's character considerably - from his harmonic theories to his use of quarter - tones (produced by hitting two adjacent piano keys simultaneously and occasionally even striking the boards with his entire forearm or his foot) to his mysterious relationship with his patron, baroness Nica de Koenigswarter.

"Pannonica," a lyrical paean to her, is included on the soundtrack. Monk's music, naturally, is at the center of this canny portrait, giving fans cause to rejoice since most of the movie's performances had been previously unavailable in any form.

The more interesting excavations include footage of his near-forgotten 1967 octet and rare recordings of club performances and rehearsal takes of Monk standards like "Well, You Needn't," "Trinkle Tinkle," "Evidence," and the title song.

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Kaeef Ruzadun Ali
2 years ago


12 years ago

SHAME about the freezing on the 10th! However, what an amazing eccentric and consummate genius is shown.. Monk was one of the most gifted jazz musos ever. Will agree with "man". He was jazz.

12 years ago

Thelonious Monk was the kind of genius that should come so naturally. He didn't really try he just was, he played on feeling, emotion, heart, soul, whatever you wanna call it, he just played what came naturally for him. That's why he was so damn good.
Greatest jazz musician to grace the planet, but i don't think he ever "tried" to play jazz in his life. He was jazz.
Shame the last 10th part of the doc is missing.

13 years ago

Unbelievable! Man! MONK!!

cam cam
13 years ago


13 years ago

absolutely loved it!

15 years ago

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