Thelonious Monk's only ever soundtrack recording, for the provocative 1959 French feature film Les Liaisons Dangereuses, is set to be released in its entirety on a double LP for the first time, specially for the 10th anniversary of Record Store Day on 22 April. The album, co-produced by Zev Feldman, is being released in partnership with two French companies: Paris-based Sam Records and Saga Music and features rare photographs from the sessions and extensive liner notes. The labels' respective producers, Fred Thomas and Francois Lê Xuân, contacted Feldman to give the music a full public release, as the music has never been available separately from the film, itself is now out of print.
Recorded on 27 July 27, 1959 at Nola Penthouse Studios, New York the band is on fine form and features Charlie Rouse and Barney Wilen both on tenor saxophones, plus a rhythm section of bassist Sam Jones and drummer Art Taylor. The track listing includes high-energy takes of 'Rhythm-a-Ning', 'Crepuscule with Nellie', 'Blues', 'Well You Needn't', 'Ba-Lue Boliver Ba-Lues Are', 'Light Blue (Making Of'), 'We'll Understand it Better, By and By', plus two solo takes and one quartet version of 'Pannonica'.
Commenting on the music Feldman notes: "It was a startling revelation to discover that this music existed, that it was not just another live recording but a very well recorded studio session of great historical significance. I was beyond honoured and thrilled to participate in this collaboration with my colleagues Mr. Thomas and Mr. Lê Xuân."
The album, which will also be released on CD, marks Monk's centenary year ahead of what would have been his 100th birthday on 10 October 2017.
– Mike Flynn
– Photo courtesy of Arnaud Boubet (Private Collection)
For more info visit www.recordstoreday.co.uk