review of new monk bio

seems half as long as the book, but informative

The “padded cell” is a telling metaphor, not only because Monk’s music seems to evoke a self-enclosed world, with its own telltale harmonies and rhythms, but also because Monk spent stretches of his later life in mental-health institutions. Indeed, observers of all stripes have puzzled over the link between Monk’s unconventional music and his personal dissociation from everyday norms. At the Five Spot, he started performing a “spinning dance”—leaving the piano bench and turning in on himself for minutes at a time while gesticulating to the solos of his sidemen. His own body became center and circumference in a performance that could be understood as autism-in-action or a novel form of interpretative dance, and was probably something of both.

Elaborating on the padded cell, Griffin found a more surreal image: Monk’s music was so “overwhelming” that expressing oneself within it was like “trying to break out of a room made of marshmallows.”


0 Responses to “review of new monk bio”

  1. Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: