monk's dream I - thick, humid, dirty, congested...

habe gerade robin d.g. kelleys biographie von thelonious monk zu lesen begonnen. da ich, was dort steht, nicht recht für mich behalten mag, werde ich hin und wieder hier was posten.

sto leggendo la biografia di thelonious monk scritta da robin d.g. kelley al momento. faccio fatica a tenerlo tutto solo per me. perció spargeró qualche briciolo qui ogni tanto.


'four-year old thelonious spent much of the time with his nose pressed against the window, watching the familiar flat countryside fade into modern steel bridges and bustling cityscapes dotted with skyscrapers. when the train pulled into new york's penn station around 7:00 on that fateful june evening, it was still light out and the summer's heat hadn't quite subsided.
north carolina summers were nothing like the thick, humid, dirty, congested heat of new york city.'

'in 1910, san juan hill was still the largest black community in manhattan. a few years later, it would be surpassed by harlem, although when the monks arrived in 1922 it was still mostly black - at least off the avenues. [...] on west 63rd street the aroma of southern-style collard greens cooked with ham hocks mixed with the distinct smell of jamaican rice and peas and fried ripe plantain. english was the main language in the community, but it came in a carolina twang and a west indian singsong lilt, in addition to a distinctive new york accent. spanish and french were also spoken on those streets, with german and yiddish along the white-dominated avenues.
it is easy to romanticize this diversity - easy and false. ms. mavis swire born and raised in the neighborhood and just three years younger than thelonious, vividly remembered the tensions. "the southern blacks called west indians 'monkey chasers,' and we often referred to southern blacks as 'possum eaters'. our main fights were with the irish and italians on the avenue. you have to go to the stores on the avenue. they would not let you go by on the sidewalk. you had to walk in the street around them."' 
kelley, thelonious monk. the life and times of an american original, ny 2009.

thelonious monk quartet - in walked bud (1958)

thelonious monk - piano
johnny griffin - tenor sax
roy haynes - drums
ahmed abdul-malik - bass.

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