Brilliant Corners [Keepnews Collection]
Label: Concord Records
Though championed in the jazz world, Thelonious Monk's conceptions of rhythm, space, time and chord progressions were initially a tough sell to general audiences. This started to change with this 1956 masterwork. Monk spotlighted more of his original tunes (including the title track and "Bemsha Swing"), and his band is amazingly in sync with him and includes such immortals as Sonny Rollins, Max Roach and Oscar Pettiford (bassist Paul Chambers and trumpeter Clark Terry sit in on "Bemsha Swing"). Even when Monk plays the standard "I Surrender Dear" alone, this remains truly joyful, emotional music.