Thelonious Monk’s Hand Sweaters

its_monks_timeThere was a drugstore near the original Birdland where musicians would sometimes hang out. This writer remembers seeing [Thelonious] Monk there one cold winter night in the late fifties surrounded by a few admirers as he very carefully pulled on a pair of knit gloves, a finger at a time.

As he was about to put on a second pair of leather ones, he was asked why the knit ones also? He thought for a minute, then solemnly announced, “These are my hand sweaters.”

Source: It’s Monk’s Time, CD Liner Notes by Dick Katz, Columbia/Legacy CK 86564

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