Monk’s Cure for Drummers Who Won’t Keep Good Time


SKF NOTE: One of my most memorable drummer interview stories: Thelonious Monk’s cure for drummer’s who can’t keep time. This is from Paul Motian‘s 1980 interview. If I can locate Paul’s telling of this story on tape I will digitize and post it.


“One time I was playing with Monk and I think the tempo picked up a little bit. At the end of the set I went over to him and said I was sorry; that I might have rushed a little bit on that number.

“Monk said, ‘Well, if I hit you in the side of the head you won’t rush!’

“That’s great advice,” Paul Motian laughed. “I’ve never rushed after that.”


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