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

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