Palo Alto

CD £13.99
  • SKU: 711285
  • UPC: 0602507112851
  • Release Date: 31 December 2020


Label Review. 

Previously unreleased concert recorded at Palo Alto High School on 27 October 1968. Impulse! Also available on Vinyl

Our Overview. 

‘Palo Alto’ is a new musical archeological find from the revered American pianist and composer Thelonious Monk. Previously unreleased, it is a recording of a live concert from 27th October 1968 brought about by 16 year old school boy Danny Scher in 1968. Danny had a goal and aspired to invite Thelonious Monk and his quartet to play a benefit concert at his high school in Palo Alto, California, in order to raise funds for his school and to help bring about racial unity in his community.

The 47-minute album features Monk’s regular touring band of tenor saxophonist Charlie Rouse, bassist Larry Gales and drummer Ben Riley. It also highlights his touring repertoire, which constituted his finest compositions. Their set included Monk’s lyrical love song ‘Ruby, My Dear,’ on which Rouse took the melodic lead on tenor sax before Monk’s dazzling solo). ‘Well, You Needn’t was given a 13-minute workout with solos by the whole band. Also included was Monk’s captivating solo reading of Jimmy McHugh’s “Don’t Blame Me”; the signature “Blue Monk” and a playful run through of “Epistrophy”. Then came a truncated encore of Monk’s slow stride through Rudy Vallee’s 1925 Tin Pan Alley hit “I Love You Sweetheart of All My Dreams”.

The concert was recorded by the school’s janitor, an audio engineer hobbyist which Danny kept. This treasure has resided in Danny’s attic until he got in touch with Thelonious’ son who tends to his father’s legacy with a view to releasing the recording. ‘Palo Alto’ is the first in a planned series of Thelonious Monk titles to come out on the legendary jazz label Impulse! Records over the new few years.

Tracklisting: Ruby, My Dear / Well, You Needn’t / Don’t Blame Me / Blue Monk / Epistrophy / I Love You Sweetheart of All My Dreams