Thelonious Monk:
his life and music

Thomas Fitterling
Berkeley Hills books, 1997
ISBN: 0-9653774-1-5
238 pages, 15 cm x 23 cm
English (translated from German by Robert Dobbin)

 "Finally, a book in English about Monk, written by one of the most honest and forthright critics in jazz today. The combination of jazz and history is excitingly new and informative." Mal Waldron

 "Fitterling paints a revealing portrait of Monk, giving a detailed account of his life, his compositions, and, above all, the lasting effect he has had on so many musicians and jazz fans all over the world." Marian McPartland (host of Piano Jazz on National Public Radio)

(excerpts from back cover)


Foreword by Steve Lacy

Monk's life

Monk's music

Monk's Catalog

Apprendix A: A Representative Monk Collection

Appendix B: A Musical Glossary



Foreword by Steve Lacy


"Thelonious was a beautiful man, with a special sense of humor, and a love of play, all sorts of play (music, dance, ping-pong, other sports, and even playing with death and 'playing dead'). When we were working at the Jazz Gallery, it was summertime, and in between sets we would be on the street, in front of the club, and T. would be playing with the passing cars and traffic lights, like a matador with the bulls.

Thelonious Monk & Steve Lacy
 "All his music can be sung and swung, and derives fundamentally from, and towards, dance. Rhythm and melody were one for him. He told me that when he was young he was excellent at mathematics, and I believed him because his sense of time and space was uncanny. In jazz, and especially after the bebop revolution in the forties (of which Thelonious was the leading strategist), the mise-en-place was opened up as a source of new lines, and the rhythmic content was greatly enhanced.
 "It's about time we had a clear picture of the story of Monk, which Fitterling's interesting study delivers. I am happy to recommend it to anyone interested in the man and his music.

Steve Lacy - January 1997, Berlin


Berkeley Hills Books

P.O. Box 9877
Berkeley CA 94709 - USA

Phone & fax 510 848 7303
Robert Dobbin (