Robin D.G. Kelley's book, Thelonious Monk: The Life and Times of an America Original, sheds some new light on Monk's musical life, including his innovative and dissonant style, his surprisingly focused marketing goals, and the mental illness that plagued him throughout his career. The book made my list of great holiday gifts of 2009.
Listen to this interview of Robin D.G. Kelley, who is a Professor of American Studies and Ethnicity at the University of Southern California, on NPR's "Fresh Air."
Also, read this recent tribute to, and analysis of Monk's piano style by pianist Vijay Iyer in JazzTimes.
Image Courtesy of Free Press