The inspiring challenge of playing Thelonious Monk’s music on piano

For jazz pianists, Thelonious Monk’s music presents a “mixed bag.” It sounds wonderful and also challenges us at every step.

Here’s one reason why Monk’s music is so hard to play:

Only a small percentage of jazz pianists ever assimilate Monk’s tunes so well that they can sound like “themselves” while also remaining true to the spirit and uniqueness of Monk’s musical persona. Chick Corea is one of them. Listenb to his “tear it up” on “Trinkle Tinkle,” one of Monk’s hardest pieces to play:

Chick Corea, from his 1972 album, Piano Improvisations Vol. 2

Trinkle Tinkle

If you enjoy listening to Thelonious Monk’s music, don’t shy away from learning to play it yourself. Dig in, view it as a long-term process, and enjoy every moment!

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