A Dream of a One Step Monk's Dream  From Mo-Fi

If you're saying Monk's creative juices had begun to dry up by the time he signed with Columbia Records and released this 1963 label debut album you'll get no argument from me. But Monk, all of 46 when this was recorded, had a secret weapon: his rock'n'roll band of the hard-blowing Charlie Rouse on tenor sax, John Ore on bass and Frankie Dunlop on drums. They rocked!

The group put the pedal to the metal for this set of Monk originals plus some reworked standards including two solo tracks—"Body and Soul" and "Just a Gigolo". "Bright Mississippi" is the only track Monk had not previously recorded.

This is an all-out slam attack as clarified as it is hard-hitting. The group had been together for some time before Monk and co. went to Europe for the first time in April of 1961 and played to deliriously happy jazz fans including stops at concert halls in Milan and Paris. Those were recorded and released by Riverside in a limited edition double LP set Two Hours with Thelonious (RS9460/9461) and it was, and is, two well-spent hours but this in-the-studio recording better captures the close up power of this quartet with Rouse and Ore center stage and Monk stage left and Dunlop stage right. The "stereo" is more about separation than group integration but no matter, it's a superb recording nonetheless.

IMPEX reissued this album in 2012 cut by Kevin Gray at AcousTech at 33 1/3 and it was a very good sounding reissue that in some ways bettered the original 'black 360 sound' label original but it was soft sounding overall. There was also a Teo Macero produced digital remastered version cut by Vlado Meller that inexplicably reverses the channels and is marred by too much reverb. This double 45 "One-Step" pressing absolutely smokes every other version and provides all of the percussive excitement preserved on tape. A "One-Step" absolutely worth the money. Includes 2 B&W Monk photos from the Sony Archives. Now, fellas, on to Criss-Cross please?

Music Direct Buy It Now

Anton D's picture

I haven't had time to play it yet!

Thanks for the terrific amuse-bouche!

lcater1's picture

Received my copy a while back and the recording is everything you say. Just wish the packaging were a little simpler, uses a lot of space I don't have...........

Michael Fremer's picture
I was thinking the same thing!
MalachiLui's picture

you've got PLENTY of space for records, the question is more about whether you're using it efficiently or not. i was reading this earlier today...


Michael Fremer's picture
have PLENTY of room for records. I have PLENTY of records
MalachiLui's picture


Neward Thelman's picture

You have way too many records.

I suggest gardening.

Neward Thelman's picture

Turning your bed into record album storage is wacked. Good luck getting any attractive females anywhere near that thing.

You have to be either four sheets to the wind audio wacked out, or an unmarried Millennial to find that thing attractive.

audiotom's picture

I am not sleeping - or doing something more strenuous and pleasurable on on top of my records.

Especially on top of a piece of furniture from a manufacturer who gives you a screwdriver and asks you to put together something that - if you look at it cross eyed, it will fall apart.

xtcfan80's picture

Oh my superb5...Your Madonna 12" collection is now a matter of public "record"

garyalex's picture

Already out of stock at MD.

MalachiLui's picture

usually means that it's shipping soon. until it says "sold out," it's available.

garyalex's picture

You're right. Thanks Malachi.

arcman67's picture

and I would find it hard to believe it could be topped. I may have to get a one step version and see for myself. The IMPEX does top any Columbia LP reissue from the 70's onward. I have not heard the original

luizfcoimbra's picture

I have the Impex too and had the very same thought. Get the One Step, you won't regret it. If you love this album it is a must have and yes it is a whole lot better than the Impex. The difference is not subtle.

DaveyF's picture

Like Mike says, the imaging in stereo is more about separation than group integration. That’s a great way to put it and exactly what I hear as well. When I first heard this aspect, I wasn’t sure that it was that realistic and I thought it was a tad odd..now I think that perhaps this ‘illusion’ ..which I think may be artificial in scope, is possibly more accurate than a lot of other more integrated sounding recordings.

AnalogJ's picture

If you're into Charles Mingus' Ah Um, don't miss the One Step reissue, their latest. It's amazing.

infohou's picture

Better than other masterings perhaps, but still not great tonally. The weakest bottom end on any MoFi UD1S. I have all of them.

Lazer's picture

I have them all. Not cheap but they are all wonderful. The Fragile album is extraordinary.

daveming3's picture

Creative juices begun to dry up? Umm, I don't hear that! I've been listening to my father's mono original for decades and I hear genius flowing.

But I agree about the band -- firing on all cylinders.

39goose's picture

I think that bed in the link is super cool looking although not convenient. If you have a terrific stereo, any girl that listened to it would be happy to get in the bed with you. Usually get my bones jumped in the listening room, that's what a top-notch stereo will get you !!!

Les3201's picture

I’d gladly put some records under the bed........but there are currently at least 10 guitars crammed under there! :)