hosho mccreesh | thelonious monk

Thelonious Monk

starts soft, and slow
but you know it’s coming,
you can see it in the way he
mashes his heel,
keeping time on
the dusty parquet,
and, right after they
start stringing it together,
Charlie Rouse takes a solo,
still a little stiff yet, but
working it out,
when Monk starts
banging out the notes
to Blue Monk, more
boxer than musician,
banging so hard the notes
break apart and he’s gotta
put them back together
real quick-like,
calculating at he stares,
his feet shuffling out a softshoe,
everyone’s footing shaky,
his pinky ring twisting,
the clack of it on the ivory,
and the keys are almost hot
until, goddammit, he
just can’t sit there
and Monk jumps up again,
stands behind the piano
to watch Larry Giles,
almost goofy in his glasses,
plucking as the swell of it all
pushes him around
inside his big ol’ suit,
and Ben Riley comes in,
this strange look on his face,
working his jaw, chewing it up,
it’s almost military
like they’re marching somewhere
they haven’t been, and he’s rapping
his planted upside-down stick
with his twitching right,
flicking his sticks like triggers,
and Rouse steps up in front,
surprises everyone with it,
Monk jumps back down,
and they bring it home
and somehow 10 minutes and
13 seconds in Olso is gone,
and Riley pulls
his kick-drum
back where it

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