For an all-too-brief, magical time in 1957, two of the greatest musicians in history, Thelonious Monk and John Coltrane performed together every night at New York's Five Spot Cafe and between April and July of that year, they made their only studio recordings together.
This June 9th, the newly minted imprint Craft Recordings, is set to reissue Thelonious Monk and John Coltrane's Complete 1957 Riverside Recordings as a deluxe vinyl edition box set featuring new artwork, rare photos and 180-gram vinyl pressed at RTI from lacquers cut by George Horn at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley, CA. Remastered from the original analog sources, audio will also be released in hi-res digital formats. The collection features such stellar musicians as Art Blakey, Wilbur Ware, Coleman Hawkins, Shadow Wilson, Ray Copeland and Gigi Gryce. Rounding out the package is an insightful essay by the late Orrin Keepnews, who, as producer of the original sessions, was present at the creation of every note.
Coltrane was poised to make a giant leap forward and ready to learn from one of the masters, Monk. In a DOWNBEAT interview Coltrane recalled, "Working with Monk brought me close to a musical architect of the highest order. I learned from him in every way." Regarding Craft Recordings inaugural release, Sig Sigworth, President, Craft Recordings, shares: "Craft Recordings is built on a dedication to create innovative, high-quality releases. The intersection of John Coltrane and Thelonious Monk in 1957 defines high quality and innovation, so it was an easy choice to have this unique package be Craft Recordings' debut release."
2017 marks what would have been Monk's 100th birthday and this release celebrates the brief but prolific intersection of genius between two of jazz's all-time luminaries.