A few years after recording Straight, No Chaser, Thelonious Monk disappeared from the public eye. But as the years passed, more people became aware of the seminal role he played in the development in jazz as both pianist and composer, creating a standard of excellence that many musicians after him aspire to.
Produced by Teo Macero, who was also responsible for legendary albums such as Miles Davis' Kind Of Blue and Dave Brubeck's Time Out!, Monk's Straight, No Chaser is a classic in its own right. It's the last album the talented pianist and composer recorded with his quartet consisting of Larry Gales on bass, Ben Riley on drums and his musical soul mate Charlie Rouse on tenor sax. It includes a light yet mature version of one of his standards; "Straight, No Chaser" is 'one idea played again and again, each time in a different part of the measure and with a different ending', and highlights some stellar action between Monk and Rouse.