Alan Bates took Thelonious Monk into the studio for his first trio recording in fifteen years with his old sidekick Art Blakey. It has been said often enough that Blakey is the ideal drummer for Monk, and one has only to hear them together again after all this time to realize the truth of the statement. If Blakey at times seems to push the pianist almost too hard, that is in fact the nature of their musical relationship. And, throughout the session, Blakey appeared to be vying with the producer in alternately cajoling and coercing Monk into fulfilling various requests from the small invited audience.
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