Miles Monk: Monk's Passion In Life

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Register to read the introduction… Although the family’s budget was tight Monk’s mother was able to save up to buy a baby grand Steinway piano. By the age of eleven, Monk’s mother had saved enough money to pay for formal piano lessons for her son. At this young age it was clear that piano was Monk’s passion in life. By his early teen’s, Monk was playing rent parties, playing organ and piano at a local Baptist Church, and was said to have won several amateur hours competitions at the Apollo Theater. He was admitted into one of the city’s best high schools, Peter Stuyvesant High School. By the end of his sophomore year, Monk dropped out of school to pursue his love of music. By 1935, Monk took a job as a pianist with a traveling evangelist preacher. Only two years later, he formed his own quartet and played locally. Having formed a quartet opened the way for more opportunities. Around 1941, Monk landed a job as the house pianist at the legendary Minton’s Manhattan Club. Being able to work at Minton’s brought Monk into close contact and collaboration with the bebop musicians including musicians like Miles Davis. In 1944 Monk made his first studio recording with the Coleman Hawkins …show more content…
He was extremely quite said Bassists Al McKibbon who had known Monk for over twenty years. It is said that all of Monk’s quirky attributes are due to mental illness. Monk’s son reports that his father did not recognize his and was in fact hospitalized on several occasions due to unspecified mental illness. Monk would often become excited for two or three day, pace for days after that and then he would withdraw and stop speaking. No diagnoses were ever publicized but physicians recommended electroconvulsive therapy as treatment option for his illness. His family would not allow it so instead he took lithium and antipsychotic. As his health declined, Monk’s last six years were spent as a guest in the New Jersey home of his friend Baroness Nica de Koenigswarter. Monk died due to a stoke on February 17,1982 and was buried in Ferncliff Cemetery in Hartsdale, New York. Since his death, his music has been rediscovered by a wider audience and he is now counted alongside the likes of Miles David and John Coltrane. In 1993, he was awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and in 2006 he was awarded a Pulitzer Prize Special

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