When this 106thstreeter was attending undergrad, I took a lot of music classes. When I started college, I had no musical training whatsoever and little knowledge of music history. Following my gut instinct, I only knew that music made everything else make sense in someway. Being a high school dropout, my undergrad years were spent part playing catch up for missing 2 years of high school and part just learning anything that I felt that I needed to know. Music and philosophy were those things for me. And they worked well together while I was piecing together some kind of life for myself. I took History of Music, Music Theory, Piano, Guitar (classical), and most importantly, History of Jazz. For me, it was Monk that bridged my studies in philosophy and music. Every week I would head to the music listening lab, the student worker would hand over my requested LP of one of Monk’s albums, and I would close the door to the listening booth and enter Monk’s world. And it was beautiful. Not simple or easy. But deep and gorgeous and way beyond my intelligence. Just over the scratching of the LP, I could hear Monk whispering or mumbling as he played. I would listen over and over again, often just focusing on his mumblings, knowing that hidden within them were messages for me about life and how to live it. Or maybe I knew it was just the sound of genius.
Thelonious Monk – “Solitude”
(from StrawberryFairy’sShoe’s Channel)