great day logo
big picture

jazz musician picture
Thelonious Monk
piano, composer, band leader: postbop

Monk's compositions are some of the best in post WWII jazz. His most famous songs include, 'Round Midnight,' 'Brilliant Corners,' 'Pannonica' and 'Straight, No Chaser.'

His recording debut came in 1944 in Coleman Hawkins' band. He helped develop the bebop sound with Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie and Kenny Clarke. From 1951 to 1957 Monk was prohibited from playing some of the bigger jazz clubs in New York because of the 'cabaret card' law. Later Monk recorded with Sonny Rollins and John Coltrane.