Thelonius Monk’s life is another sad story in jazz history. He was a very talented and very troubled man. No one knows for sure exactly what mental health issue plagued him but theories abound. The experts at the time said schizophrenia and bipolar. I even saw one movie that suggested perhaps he had Turrets Syndrome because of his odd on stage behavior. The video I chose doesn’t show any particularly strange mannerisms. It does have Monk performing “’Round Midnight” which is one of his most famous compositions. I have the Ella Fitzgerald version of this song on my iPod’s “Feelin’ Blue” playlist.
We’ve had quite a few sad bios here on the Jazz thread. Bill Evans, Thelonious Monk, Bud Powell, and Charlie “Bird” Parker are just the ones I can think of off hand but there are probably more. I think, along with the “What famous people were doing before they died” list and the “Super famous composers I never knew about” list, I need to start a list called “Jazz musicians most in need of a hug or maybe a tummy rub.**”
**What?? A tummy rub is very comforting, even if you’re not a terrier!