The place: one of New York's most celebrated jazz rooms, the Five Spot. The time: summer 1958. The leader is the great Thelonious Monk, at the peak of his abilities as a performer and captured "in action" at the club where he first emerged into the spotlight. The band is one that has been drastically undervalued in history, largely because it was the successor to the legendary quartet that featured John Coltrane. But this group–Johnny Griffin, Roy Haynes, Ahmed Abdul-Malik, and their exuberant leader–created two highly memorable in-performance albums (of which this is the first) of classic Monk repertoire.
with Johnny Griffin, Ahmed Abdul-Malik, Roy Haynes