Jesse's Reviews > Thelonious Monk: The Life and Times of an American Original

Thelonious Monk by Robin D.G. Kelley
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's review
May 03, 2010

really liked it
Read in May, 2010

Robin Kelley did an insane amount of research for this book. It goes quite beyond the normal amount of detail for a biography. Sometimes he over does it. I didn't really need to know about the background of Monk's mother's pastor for a year, but Kelley deserves a lot of recognition for his work here. I certainly know a lot more about Monk than I did before, and I will be coming back to this book whenever I acquire more recordings of Monk, just to refresh myself with the circumstances of each record. I found Kelley's use of slang a bit annoying for this kind of scholarly book, but perhaps it was included to make it more story-like and less academic. Anyway, it's a must read book for jazz musicians and fans.

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