MONK’S ADVICE — NOTES BY STEVE LACY

1. Monk’s Advice (1960)
notes by Steve Lacy

Just because you’re not a drummer, doesn’t mean that you don’t have to keep time.

Pat your foot + sing the melody in your head, when you play.

Stop playing all that bullshit, those weird notes, play the melody!

Let’s Cool One

Clark Terry Quartet with Thelonious Monk — 1958

Make the drummer sound good.

Discrimination is important.

You’ve got to dig it to dig it, you dig?

All reet!

Always know… (Monk “knoW”)

It must be always night, otherwise they wouldn’t need the lights.

Let’s lift the bandstand!!

I want to avoid the hecklers.

Don’t play the piano part, I’m playing that. Don’t listen to me, I’m supposed accompanying you!

The inside of the tune (the bridge) is the part that makes the outside sound good.

Don’t play everything (or every time); Let some things go by. Some music just imagined. What you don’t play can be more important than what you do play.

Always leave them wanting more.

A note can be small as a pin or as big as the world, it depends on your imagination.

Stay in shape! Sometimes a musician waits for a gig + when it comes, he’s out of shape + can’t make it.
(What should we wear tonight? – Sharp as possible!)

When you’re swinging, swing some more!

Don’t sound anybody for a gig, just be on the scene.

Those pieces were written so as to have something to play, + to get cats interested enough to come to rehearsal.

You’ve got it! If you don’t want to play, tell a joke or dance, but in any case, you got it! (To a drummer who didn’t want to solo).

Whatever you think can’t be done, somebody will come along + do it. A genius is the one most like himself.

They tried to get me to hate white people, but someone would always come along + spoil it.

One can hear the effect of Monk’s musings on every single of Steve’s recordings. One of the most beautiful tracks can be heard now:

Reflections

Steve Lacy Quartet with Mal Waldron — 1958

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