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Thelonious Monk - Palo Alto makes Central Coast Public Radio - Best of 2020

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The DJs at Central Coast Public Radio: KCBX clearly love to explore and enthusiastically share new music. Here are some of their picks for the top albums and songs of 2020. Tom Di Santo, host of 'Speak Low' picks; Thelonious Monk - Palo Alto as one of his top albums.

In the fall of 1968, a sixteen-year old high school student named Danny Scher had a dream to invite legendary jazz pianist and composer Thelonious Monk and his all-star quartet to perform a concert at his local high school in Palo Alto, CA. In a series of twists and turns, against a backdrop of racial tension and political volatility, that concert was recorded by the school's janitor. Palo Alto is now available  physically on Impulse! Records and digitally on Legacy Recordings, the catalog division of Sony Music Entertainment. 

Additionally, Verve/Impulse! and podcast creative studio PopCult released "Verve Presents: Monk Goes To School," an innovative podcast that weaves the voices of the key players of this historic album together, illustrated beautifully by the music itself. Recorded entirely "at home," the podcast features the voices of Danny Scher, Monk's son T.S. Monk, Monk biographer Robin D.G. Kelley, brought together by KCRW host Anthony Valdez and mixed/engineered by Grandmixer DXT. 

"That performance is one of the best live recordings I've ever heard by Thelonious," says T.S. Monk, son of the pianist/composer maestro, drummer and founder of the Thelonious Monk Institute. "I wasn't even aware of my dad playing a high school gig, but he and the band were on it. When I first heard the tape, from the first measure, I knew my father was feeling really good."

The vibrant 47-minute album spotlights Monk's steady touring band (tenor saxophonist Charlie Rouse, bassist Larry Gales, drummer Ben Riley) and features his touring repertoire, which were his finest compositions.  

SEE THE Central Coast Public Radio - Best of 2020 PAGE