My eyes bugged out of their sockets when I idly typed in “Thelonious Monk” into eBay and ranked the search by “highest cost first.” The pictures are remarkably clear. The “Boo Boo’s Birthday” is identical to the one seen on the piano in the documentary Straight No Chaser, so there’s no question in my mind that the scores are authentic.
The prices are high but not without reason, of course. However, for serious jazz students, just taking a long look at Monk’s handwriting is priceless. There should be a proper folio of manuscripts from all the jazz greats.
The pictures are hi-resolution but blessedly unprotected. We need to see these, especially the dramatic chart of “Boo Boo’s Birthday” with no chord symbols and every voicing written out.
I got to these really because I was sort of scratching an itch to collect original Monk LPs. I could never afford it, but I love to look. For the first time I found my favorite disc in the 10-inch issue. The cover isn’t very exciting but the label has a classic misspelling: “Thelonius.”