I was watching the documentary Straight, No Chaser last night. It was produced by Clint Eastwood and it has a bunch of old footage of Monk playing, and even him in the studio producing music with his band. I don't really know much about Monk, other than that he played with Miles Davis. It was really interesting hearing him play. My first impression was that this guy doesn't play 'right'. He's off note quite often, and he's obviously not trying to please the crowd. But as you listen you can tell that he's doing something really big by playing that way. Monk was a very eccentric fellow, they suspected he had bipolar disorder. He'd pace backstage before his performances, spinning around in circles for no apparent reason. He wasn't really capable of taking care of himself. His wife had to do everything, from dressing him in the morning, to paying the bills, and even making sure he was fed. His style is very interesting. Sometimes aesthetic, but mostly improvisational. There's some footage of him rehearsing with his band. It was really loose. Not much direction. It was just like "i'll play this part, then you come in here." On the fly. There was this one scene where Monk's band was playing in England. He didn't give the band the music until a few hours before the performance. So they all had to learn this stuff without rehearsing, on the plane to England. Talk about pressure! That performance ending up being one of their great performances. I guess he just decided to quit playing the piano toward the end of his life. The guys from his band talked about going to visit him and trying to get him back into the studio, or just jamming like they did in the old days. But he just quit playing. When you think of creative geniuses and their struggle with sanity and the relationship that mental illness has with artistry then you have to look at Thelonious Monk. Very interesting documentary. I'd recommend it if you are curious about Jazz. Anybody else admire Thelonious Monk?