NPR

After Midnight: Thelonious Monk At 100

Misunderstood early in his career, the jazz pianist and composer — born Oct. 10, 1917 — came to have a massive effect on American music.

Thelonious Monk performs in London in 1970. Source: David Redfern

He was called "the high priest of bebop." With his goatee, dark sunglasses and exotic hats, Thelonious Monk was the quintessential hepcat. He patted his feet in mad rhythm while he was playing — and when his sidemen soloed, he got up and danced in circles.

Monk, who was born 100 years ago today, was also one of the greatest composers of the 20th century. The late pianist wrote about 70 songs during his career — many of

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from NPR

NPR3 min readFood & Wine
As Trump Moves To Renegotiate NAFTA, U.S. Farmers Are Hopeful But Nervous
Farmers say exports are a crucial part of their business and they're warily watching as the Trump administration pushes to remake the long-standing trade agreement with Canada and Mexico.
NPR4 min readPolitics
The Russia Investigations: Facebook Makes Nice, Imbroglio Sucks In More Tech Firms
Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg launches a goodwill tour in D.C., more big tech companies are pulled into the imbroglio and the White House weighs its Muller strategy.
NPR
U.S. Troops Train Afghan Soldiers In Troubled Helmand Province
Hundreds of Marines died in Afghanistan's Helmand Province over years of fighting that ended in 2014. The Marines are back to train Afghan soldiers. One returned Marine recalls his fallen comrades.