Thelonious Sphere Monk

As a sideman said to a journalist when Monk visited the UK once: ‘You got castles over here? Well, Thelonious, he’s the king of hip castle’. The most important pianist-composer in modern jazz, famed for his quirky, very rhythmic compositions and very individual, yet logical improvisation (one of his solos was even transcribed for a saxophone section).

How many other jazzmen have danced to playbacks of their solos to determine if they were good enough? For my money, the most immediately recognisable sound in jazz piano.

Jazz Bands & Musicians:
Louis Armstrong
Bix Beiderbecke
Art Blakey
Cab Calloway
Nat King Cole
John Coltrane
Miles Davis
Bill Evans
Benny Goodman
Erskine Hawkins
Stan Kenton
Andy Kirk
Mills Blue Rhythm Band
Charles Mingus
Thelonious Sphere Monk
Bud Powell
Sonny Rollins
Art Tatum