Orrin Keepnews' commentary (from the new liner notes): “This album was actually one of the major factors in the successful battle to win new and wider acceptance for Monk. In the sequence of his Riverside discography, it followed two initial albums devoted entirely to 'standards' and offered the first occasion on this label for Thelonious to express himself basically through his own writing. Creating music for five instrumental voices in terms of his personal and unorthodox construction, approach and phrasing, he produced some startlingly brilliant examples of the great depth, wit, and strength of his style.”
Orrin on The Keepnews Collection:
This is a series of reissues that can be described as largely centered on my incredibly long (even to me) career as a jazz producer, contributing to the careers of some of the most significant jazz performers of our day. The series follows a specific set of ground rules. In each case the original product is preserved-cover art, the notes, and the entire initial recorded content, in the exact original sequence-and it is now presented with the sonic benefits of 24-bit remastering from the original master tapes. Alternate takes or originally unissued numbers, when available, appear as bonus tracks. In some instances I've added to the total lineup a never-used version that may have been recorded forty or more years ago. When that occasionally allows you to hear for the first time a "new" performance by a long-departed artist, be aware that I join you in considering this a truly wonderful addition. Finally, I have written a complete set of new commentaries, digging back into my memories of those often very good old days to tell a few more stories about this remarkable music and its people. On the whole, I am unreasonably and unshakably proud of the results.