Saturday, April 06, 2024

Acolyte Years: Charlie Rouse 100


Charlie Rouse All-Star Quartet - Rhythm-a-ning

We are back as promised with the next big birthday in an April 2024 chock full of them.

The dictionary says that the assistant in a monastery, who tends to the daily needs of all the monks, is called an acolyte.

Today's honoree, as the right-hand man of possibly the greatest Monk of our epoch, would qualify for such a sobriquet.

Not too many people have probably ever stopped to consider what it must have been like to make sure a galaxy-class eccentric like ol' Thelonious got to the gig on time.

Fewer still may have ever considered the degree of difficulty behind taking such a wild, unusual visionary's music and arranging it to achieve its maximum impact.

I talk a lot on here about those visionaries and the marquee value they command, but not nearly enough about the ones who facilitate that genius coming into contact with the world in a digestible, memorable way that stands the test of time and taste.

When it comes to the music of Thelonious Monk -- a catalog that has definitely lasted and retained its universal impact decades after its advent -- there is no more seminal a facilitating figure than today's centenary saxophonist, the great Charlie Rouse.

Today we are all about the support system that this man fashioned to help make the music of Monk something that's brought joy to so many tens of millions of people for so many acolyte years.

So let's have at it, courtesy of two pretty heavyweight tribute concerts that have our hero as a central figure, continuing to spread the Gospel Of Thelonious as only he could.

Thelonious Monk Tribute featuring Charlie Rouse
Chicago Jazz Festival
Grant Park
Chicago, IL

01 introduction
02 Eronel
03 Ba-lue Bolivar Ba-lues Are
04 Pannonica/Ruby My Dear
05 Rhythm-a-ning
06 Epistrophy
07 outro
08 Bye-Ya
09 I Mean You
10 Evidence
11 Light Blue

Total time: 1:28:12
disc break goes after Track 07

Tracks 01-07: Charlie Rouse All-Star Quartet @ Chicago Jazz Festival, Chicago IL 8.27.1986 FM
Charlie Rouse - tenor saxophone; Barry Harris - piano; Cecil McBee - bass; Ben Riley - drums
Tracks 08-11: Thelonious Monk Orchestra Reunion @ Chicago Jazz Festival, Chicago IL 8.29.1986
Don Sickler & Tom Harrell - trumpets; Eddie Bert - trombone; Steve Lacy, Phil Woods, Charlie Rouse
& Howard Johnson - saxophones;
Mal Waldron - piano; Cecil McBee - bass; Ben Riley - drums; Don Sickler - musical co-ordinator; Hall
Overton - arranger
1st gen cassettes of off-air captures of the original 1986 Chicago Jazz Festival FM broadcasts
slightly edited & retracked -- with the Orchestra segment boosted +2 dB throughout -- by EN, April 2024
568 MB FLAC/direct link

You can see by the lineup around Charlie on these two sets that they are essentially an All-Star array of talent, with each player towering above most and all on one stage, playing the music of the master.

I'll be back soon with the rest of this wild month I have planned, but let's get you pasting your lobes to these fine Monk sets -- midwived into existence since forever by today's birthday centennialist -- in tribute to both Monk and his right-hand acolyte assistant. I mean you!--J.

4.6.1924 - 11.30.1988

No comments:

Post a Comment