Tag Archives: Thelonious Monk


Yes, as Richard Brody and others have pointed out, JAZZ ON A SUMMER’S DAY—photographer Bert Stern’s indelible documentary of the 1958 Newport Jazz Festival—could have been a different kind of film. Sonny Rollins, Mary Lou Williams, Duke Ellington, Max Roach, and Miles Davis—with John Coltrane in his sextet—were also in Newport that year, but their performances didn’t make the final cut.

Yet the film remains one of the greatest jazz documentaries ever made, a picture of the art form at its peak just as rock and roll was about to replace it as the country’s most popular musical genre.

The performances of Dinah Washington and Anita O’Day alone are worth the price of admission, and Stern’s camera also captures the playing of Thelonious Monk, Louis Armstrong, Gerry Mulligan, Sonny Stitt, Chico Hamilton, Jimmy Guiffre, and Chuck Berry. The great gospel singer Mahalia Jackson closes the film.

JAZZ ON A SUMMER’S DAY is screening now on Kino Lorber’s Kino Marquee. See link below for details.


Laemmle, Los Angeles

Bert Stern, Jazz on a Summer’s Day (1959), from top: Dinah Washington singing “All of Me”; Anita O’Day; Jack Teagarden (left) and Louis Armstrong; Thelonious Monk; Ralph Ellison (left), Langston Hughes, and James Baldwin at the 1958 Newport Jazz Festival; poster courtesy and © Kino Lorber; program from the first Newport Jazz Festival, 1954; Miles Davis at the 1958 festival.


The new publication ART KANE—HARLEM 1958 celebrates the 60th anniversary of the publication in Esquire of the iconic photograph A Great Day in Harlem.

Count Basie, Dizzy Gillespie, Mary Lou Williams, Sonny Rollins, Benny Golson, Coleman Hawkins, Maxine Sullivan, Jimmy Rushing, Marian McPartland, Oscar Pettiford, Charles Mingus, Gene KrupaThelonious Monk, Lester Young, Bud Freeman, Pee Wee Russell, Red Allen, Art Farmer, and Gerry Mulligan were among the fifty-seven jazz giants captured in front of 17 East 126th Street on August 12, 1958.


ART KANE—HARLEM 1958 (Alba, Italy: Wall of Sound, 2018).

Above book cover credit: Wall of Sound.

Below: Art Kane, A Great Day in Harlem, 1958. Count Basie standing in black suit, front center-right. Marian McPartland and Mary Lou Williams, second and third to Basie’s left.


On Friday night, in celebration of Thelonious Monk’s centenary, CAP UCLA presents pianist JASON MORAN—IN MY MIND, MONK AT TOWN HALL 1959.
This multimedia project brings Moran’s group Big BandwagonJason Moran, (piano), Wallace Roney II (trumpet), Immanuel Wilkins (alto sax), Walter Smith III (tenor sax), Frank Lacy (trombone), Bob Stewart (tuba), Tarus Mateen (bass), Nasheet Waits (drums)—to the ornate Theatre at Ace Hotel in downtown L.A.
In addition to virtuoso performances of Monk’s music, IN MY MIND combines documentary recordings of Monk’s rehearsals at photographer W. Eugene Smith’s downtown loft, artwork by Glenn Ligon, sampling and mixing, and archival visual material brought to life by videographer David Dempewolf.
JASON MORAN—IN MY MIND, MONK AT TOWN HALL 1959, Friday, November 10. at 8 pm.
THE THEATRE AT ACE HOTEL, 929 South Broadway, downtown Los Angeles.
Thelonious Monk.
Image result for thelonious monk