Playlist: Exploring the Wide World of Monk with Hamilton de Holanda

Hamilton de Holanda shares some of his favorite Monk tunes

News | May, 26th 2017

Few jazz composers boasted a style as instantly recognizable as Thelonious Monk's. His tunes declare themselves as Monk originals within just a few bars; and, as famed bandolimplayer Hamilton de Holanda says, "Each one has a story."

It's a great time to be a Monk fan. Next month, Monk's long-lost soundtrack for Roger Vadim's "Les liaisons dangereuses" will finally be released, and, from June 1-3, the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis will perform "World of Monk" as part of Jazz at Lincoln Center's Monk festival. Also on the concert are Holanda and Baqir Abbas, a flautist and member of the Sachal Jazz Ensemble, whose previous performances with the JLCO drew rave reviews.

Read on for Holanda's thoughts on some of his favorite Monk tunes, and listen to a playlist featuring his chosen tracks (as well as some cuts we couldn't resist including).

Evidence: "It has a rhythmic break in the melody that seems like we're on a road always dodging obstacles at a constant speed and every obstacle is a pretty chord. It has chords that at first may seem strange, but the answer to it is always in the next measure or in the part that follows."

Trinkle, Tinkle: "It's a song that, for me, has a particular, graceful humor. When I first heard it, it struck me as a joke between two clowns. It has a harmonic depth characteristic of this incredible composer. The melodic rhythm, as in most of his compositions, is surprising."

Ruby, My Dear: "It's a beautiful melody! With a harmony that brings me to an image of a couple in love, in a moment of love. It is the voice of the heart that speaks tenderly. It's the classic ballad."

We See: "It gives me a youthful joy, one that we can never stop feeling. I feel that this song has the spirit of freedom, to live lightly. Playing it is like being thirsty and drinking a glass of cold water. It's a song that refreshes."

read more

JLCO bassist Carlos Henriquez has assembled a prodigiously talented group to explore the "Latin Side of Dizzy" this Jan. 27-28 in the Appel Room. Listen to the Dizzy songs they'll be performing!

read more

Enrich your listening experience of "The Music of John Lewis," the new album from the JLCO with Wynton Marsalis ft. Jon Batiste, with an excerpt from its liner notes and a playlist exploring Lewis's oeuvre!


Duke Ellington

The Essential Ellington: How Duke Ellington Changed Jazz Forever

Nobody in the history of jazz expressed himself more freely; or with more variety, swing, and sophistication than Duke Ellington. Listen to our playlist of essential Ellington recordings and find out how he changed jazz forever.

read more
Nina and Nat

And the Inductees Are… Your Choices for the Ertegun Jazz Hall of Fame

Find out who the three 2018 inductees into the Ertegun Jazz Hall of Fame are! All three made an indelible impact on America's music and influenced millions in the process.

read more
Ahmad Jamal - Photo by Frank Stewart for Jazz at Lincoln Center

Another 10 Essential Jazz Albums

Here's a list of 10 more must-have classics for to round out your collection of jazz records.

read more
Thelonious Monk at the 1965 Newport Jazz Festival with his children, T.S. and Boo Boo.

10 Things You Didn't Know About Thelonious Monk, by His Son T.S. Monk

Celebrate Thelonious Monk’s Centennial by getting to know the legend through his son’s memories.

read more
Chick Corea - photo by Frank Stewart for Jazz at Lincoln Center

Chick Corea: Five Essential Albums

Chick Corea is one of the most influential figures in jazz and one of the greatest living jazz pianists. In advance of his trio’s July 4 performance in Highland Park, IL, at the Ravinia Festival alongside the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, here are five essential albums from his discography.

read more
Wynton Marsalis performs on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert

Celebrating Spaces and The Abyssinian Mass with Colbert on The Late Show

Wynton Marsalis appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert to perform with Jon Batiste, Stay Human, and acclaimed dancer Lil Buck. Check out video and behind-the-scenes content from their performance.

read more

10 Essential Jazz Albums

New to jazz and don't know where to start? With many artists and extensive catalogues of music, a new jazz listener can feel intimidated. We're here to help! Check out our list of 10 albums to get you started on your jazz journey and introduce yourself to some of jazz's great artists.

read more

A Visit to Clark Terry

On December 7, 2014 the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra drove 8 hours on an off day to play for Clark Terry on his 94th birthday. Victor Goines, James Chirillo, Ted Nash, Vincent Gardner, and Walter Blanding recall the day and the impact that Clark had on jazz.

read more


Gerald Cannon

Gerald Cannon Talks Dizzy's, His Early Days, & Love of Teaching

We sat down with Gerald Cannon ahead of his Memorial Day Weekend performances at Dizzy's.

read more
Will Calhoun

Will Calhoun Talks Individuality, Elvin Jones, and Dizzy’s

Discover how growing up in the Bronx shaped Will Calhoun’s appreciation for art and how Elvin Jones inspired him to define his individuality.

read more
Ornette Coleman

The Department Store Painting that Inspired Ornette Coleman and 5 Other Interesting Facts About His Life

Ornette Coleman led a life as fascinating as his music. Read up on some interesting facts about this jazz legend!

read more
Joe Temperley, by Frank Stewart for Jazz at Lincoln Center

Notes from the Road: Remembering Joe Temperley

Before his passing in May, Joe Temperley spent 29 unforgettable years as the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra's baritone saxophonist and its beloved elder statesman. Between performances on their recent mini-tour of Canada, several JLCO members shared their memories of Temperley, who left behind an indelible legacy and a whole lot of stories.

read more

6 Underappreciated Jazz Artists You Should Check Out

April is Jazz Appreciation Month, so we thought we'd celebrate by delving into the careers of a handful of underappreciated jazz artists. Explore the careers of six musicians who deserve more accolades and learn the best places to start with their discographies.

read more