Dave Ratcliffe Piano

Thelonious Monk:
Abide With Me    
From: Monk’s Music: THELONIOUS MONK Septet
June 26, 1957, Riverside LP 242, CD 1102.

This is a solo piano transcription cooked up in the later 1980s based on the four-horn arrangement Monk scored (piano recording). Abide With Me is recorded with Coleman Hawkins - tenor saxophone, John Coltrane - tenor saxophone, Gigi Gryce - alto saxophone, and Ray Copeland - trumpet.

In the two-CD set, Thelonious Monk With John Coltrane - The Complete 1957 Riverside Recordings released in 2006, Orrin Keepnews (who produced the original recordings as well as this reissue compilation) wrote in the liner notes:

The inclusion of Abide with Me is a put-on on two levels—both for its actual authorship by a Monk namesake, and in its absolutely straightfaced 52-second Salvation Army-styled presentation. In the studio, the joke had a third level: after these four jazz artists set it down on tape quite solidly, as written, Thelomous was able to pause for a moment in evaluation—and then quietly ask Coleman Hawkins, John Coltrane, and company to try it one more time! Maybe you had to be there to really appreciate the moment. I was. So, in an effort to share it with you, we otter both brief takes.

The alternate (2nd) take is one second less than the first with a pronounced ritardando at the end.