Columbia/Legacy Jazz’s restoration of its catalog of albums by jazz legend Thelonious Monk will be extended next month with four additional titles. Due Aug. 19, each has been digitally remastered and expanded with bonus tracks not on the originally issued albums.
“Criss-Cross” (1963) was the pianist’s second album for Columbia and featured tenor saxophonist Charlie Rouse, bassist John Ore and drummer Frankie Dunlop. The new version adds three bonus tracks, including unreleased alternate takes of “Tea For Two” and “Eronel.” His third Columbia set, 1964’s “It’s Monk’s Time,” is also extended with three bonus tracks, including a complete version of Monk’s closing theme “Epistrophy.” The album was recorded with Rouse, bassist Butch Warren and drummer Ben Riley.
Nine extra tracks bolster the reissue of 1965’s “Solo Monk,” an album marked by its blues numbers and standards. Two of the new tracks “Introspection” and “Darn That Dream,” first appeared on the 1979 double-album “Always Know.”
Lastly, 1968’s “Underground,” Monk’s final Columbia studio album, newly features previously unreleased alternate takes of “Boo Boo’s Birthday” and the waltz “Ugly Beauty,” as well as the first recorded take of “Thelonious.” The quartet was rounded out by Rouse, Riley and bassist Larry Gales, and expanded with on-the-spot improvised vocals by Jon Hendricks on the closing track “In Walked Bud.”
Like the first batch of Columbia/Legacy’s Monk reissues — “Monk’s Dream,” “Monk At Newport 1963 & 1965” and “Monk” — the titles in the second salvo feature the original liner notes, as well as new notes by reissue producer Orrin Keepnews, and new essays by jazz pianist, critic and educator Dick Katz and author Peter Keepnews.
The mining of the Columbia’s archive of Monk recordings began in 1997 in conjunction with the 80th anniversary of the musician’s birth. The first title to emerge was the two-disc “Thelonious Monk Live At the It Club – Complete,” a legendary 1964 Halloween performance in Los Angeles that had never been issued in its entirety.