Thursday, October 9, 2014

Thelonious Monk!!

The dynamic poet and editor Felino A. Soriano opens our contest honoring Thelonious Monk with "Trio of incorporated interpretation."  This marvelous poem celebrates not only Monk's version of "Thelonious" but also Robert Glasper's reinterpretation of rap group Slum Village's "Thelonious" and Jason Moran's version of "Thelonious."  I am so happy to see these men represented here in our contest!

Trio of incorporated interpretations


                   —after Thelonious Monk’s Thelonious

Altered extraordinary focal premises
these plurals arise arrive
dominating left-right hand-hand plurals and pulsing
pushes . . .                               what/who hears
cannot not become altruistic in subsequent
serenades toward emblems of your rise and open
-hand needs
                              . . . solo which rises      thrown
such jubilant architectures of oscillating feet
          feeling freed and
forthcoming more so freedom amid the standing

ovation each hand surprises as the wife beyond

14th circulation of the 2nd volume of each year’s orchestrated


                   —after Robert Glasper’s Thelonious

why (,or, inside the permission of tongues speaking _________,)

the eyewear fits, well, finds, well

and well, this rhythm sits, well, well, aligning
beyond juxtaposed
already in the expectation of

left-aligned memories
pulling what crowds with softened unclosed
fingering selections, the watchers impress their
aptitude inspire their prior silence into
what knowing retains in replayed
motions of what assembles



                   —after Jason Moran’s Thelonious

 as to my father’s waving hand i
‘ve become a somewhat similar he when i
range my talk and arrange my walk with head
or visual tools held toward the right-hand lean
my fedora wears itself, as my

graying ceiling
since youngster style into the middle-portion of
my existence’s mirror and wandering finding

i am interpreting, yes
, what has held in place an examination
prior to my altering infatuation with
musical foundation and language as
advocate of my body’s often-bending
to become what expands within
the generational differences of
same-season reaching


Felino has also provided the music that inspired his poem:

We'll start with Monk's own version:

Next is the Robert Glasper Trio live in Detroit: 

Finally, we have Jason Moran live in Minnesota:

I hope that these words and this music inspires you!  Remember that the Monk contest includes performances of his songs by contemporary musicians like Glasper and Moran.

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