Les Liaisons Dangereuses 1960

Thelonious Monk


Barcode: ASAM001

35.00 £35.00
  • Genre: Jazz
  • Label: Sam Records
  • Released Date: 10th November 2017
  • Buying Format:
    200g 1LP

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Here is Thelonious Monk’s only film musical score, never-before-released, for Roger Vadim’s famed French film “Les Liaisons Dangereuses 1960.” The soundtrack features Monk’s 1959 all-star working band of Charlie Rouse, Sam Jones & Art Taylor, plus special guest French Saxophonist Barney Wilen.

As AnalogPlanet.com’s Michael Fremer writes, the movie wasn’t well-received and it and Monk’s music track all but disappeared until now. The session tapes were eventually discovered among the possessions of French promoter Marcel Romano, who died in 2007.

Romano had previously paired Miles Davis with Louis Malle for his film “Ascenseur pour l’echafaud.” After Roger Vadim named him music director for his new film, Romano and the director approached Monk, who though he’d had a musically exciting year (his famous Town Hall concert, the Riverside album 5 by Monk by 5 and a notable appearance at The Newport Jazz Festival), had a rough year, that included losing his cabaret card, which prevented him from performing live in New York City.

Perhaps that explains why no new music was composed for the film, but there are new versions of familiar tunes like “Crepuscule with Nellie”, “Rhythm-a-Ning” and other Monk classics. The reissue’s producer Zev Feldman is quotes as saying “It’s at the top of the heap for me… It’s one of the most important projects I’ve worked on. Bar none.”

This numbered, limited edition 200-gram LP is released on Fred Thomas’s Sam Records label, and is produced exclusively for Acoustic Sounds, mastered by Kevin Gray at Cohearent Audio. Pressing is by Quality Record Pressings.

“We knew that Monk had recorded the soundtrack for ‘Les Liaisons Dangereuses,’ but we never expected to find these tapes 55 years after the movie was released. It is such a blessing to be able to listen to this fantastic session, and make it available for all to hear, with the precious help of eminent jazz specialists such as Robin D.G. Kelley, Brian Priestley, Daniel Richard, Alain Tercinet and Zev Feldman. This project is also a great opportunity to pay a tribute to producer Marcel Romano who had done so much for jazz music in France during the 1950’s,” writes Fred Thomas. “It was a startling revelation to discover that this music existed, that it was not just another live recording but a very well recorded studio session of great historical significance.”

“I was beyond honored and thrilled to participate in this collaboration with my colleagues Mr. Thomas and Mr. Le Xuan.'”

The co-producers of this project are Francois Le Xuan/Saga, Frederic Thomas/Sam Records and Zev Feldman. Le Xuan is a French record producer and sound engineer based in Paris who has done many archival projects for Universal Music, Sony, EMI and his own Saga Jazz label. Thomas, also based in Paris, heads up Sam Records, where he has released archival titles by Lester Young, Chet Baker, Donald Byrd and others. Feldman, who is based in Los Angeles, is known for his acclaimed and best-selling archival productions of work by Bill Evans, Wes Montgomery, John Coltrane, Stan Getz, Charles Lloyd and other major artists for Resonance Records and other labels. He was named “Rising Star Producer” in the 2016 DownBeat International Critics Poll.

Recorded at Nola Penthouse Sound Studio, 111 W. 57th, New York, N.Y. July 27, 1959.

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Track Listings

Side 1
Crepuscule with Nellie
Six in One
Well, You Needn’t

Side 2
Pannonica (solo 1)
Pannonica (solo 2)
Pannonica (quartet)
Ba-Lue Bolivar Ba-Lues-Are
Light Blue
By and By (We’ll Understand It Better By and By)

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