Recorded in 1959 for French director Roger Vadim's 1960 film "Les Liaisons Dangereuses," the album is the latest discovery of important jazz recordings in recent years.
Seven reels of tape were found in the archives of Marcel Romano, the manager of French saxophonist Barney Wilen, who played on the album.
Along with Wilen, fellow tenor saxophonist Charlie Rouse, double bass player Sam Jones and drummer Art Taylor join Monk on pulsing performances of some of his familiar compositions.
Far from the bland background music associated with film scores, the album swings with hard bop ebullience as Rouse, Wilen and Monk push each other to higher flights. Taylor and Jones lay down vibrant rhythms.
After that soaring joy, Monk shifts to quiet introspection with a lovely solo of Charles Albert Tindley's "We'll Understand It Better By and By."
Along with the vital discovery of a major Monk recording, the album includes captivating photos of Monk and his bandmates. While the album has a French pedigree, it was recorded at the Nola Penthouse Sound Studios on West 57th. Street in New York City on July 27, 1959.
The album follows the 2016 release of newly discovered recordings made by Bill Evans and his trio in 1968. The tapes that make up "Some Other Time: The Lost Sessions From the Black Forest" were done at the studio of German company MPS Records in Villingen, Germany, following an appearance by Evans' trio at the Montreux Jazz Festival. The recordings were made on June 20, 1968.
At the time, Evans' colleagues were bass player Eddie Gomez and drummer Jack DeJohnette. As jazz scholar and Wall Street Journal writer Marc Myers says in the accompanying CD booklet, the album marks Evans' transition to his introspective last years.
While many jazz players had moved toward fusion, with "Bitches' Brew" by former Evans colleague Miles Davis a hallmark, Evans on "Some Other Time" stays with with the model of interpreting Amiercan songbook classics.
Familiar melodies like "What Kind of Fool Am I" and "My Funny Valentine" serve as templates for Evans' meditations, augmented by Gomez and DeJohnette, whose brushed cymbals give an enticing counter conversation.
Resonance Records, known for its musical archaeology, released Evans' work. The recordings had remained in the MPS shelves unreleased because of contract problems with Evans' American record company.
The French label SAM released the Monk album. Producer and musicologist Zev Feldman was involved in both projects.
Both albums give new musical discoveries with each listening. They stand as essential additions to each man's oeuvre.