Thelonious Monk: American Composer

The pianistic ringleader of the bebop revolution, Thelonious Monk is jazz’s first major composer after Duke Ellington. Through a more personal and conversational style of documentary, American Composer provides the first fully rounded portrait of Monk, a misunderstood man and musician often portrayed as not simply eccentric but crazy. Barry Harris has called Monk a great satirist; in fact the witty composer could be a master of put-on, frequently exercising this talent at the expense of those around him. This film illuminates Monk as never before.

Thelonious Monk III
Monk’s sister, Marion White
Ben Riley
Barris Harris
Billy Taylor
Orrin Keepnews
Randy Weston

Filmed at Minton’s Playhouse

Produced by Toby Byron and Richard Saylor
Directed by Matthew Seig
Written by Quincy Troupe

A co-production of Toby Byron/Multiprises in association with Taurus Film, Munich and VideoArts, Japan