November 29, 1957:

I've been listening, of late, to a wonderful recording released by Mosaic Records of the Thelonius Monk Quartet (with John Coltrane) recorded live at a performance in November 1957 at Carnegie Hall. [Great music to grade exams by!] The disc's really terrific for lots of reasons -- the performances, especially the four at the late show, are great, it's quite something to hear Monk play on a Carnegie Hall Steinway, and it's historically quite important, for it's one of the few documents from the period after Coltrane had been kicked out of Miles Davis' band and was re-learning his trade by sitting in with Monk at the Five Spot. (There's a nice little essay here, from one of the Amazon reviews of the disc).

But what really caught my eye was this. The CD set includes great liner notes, and a reproduction of the poster advertising the show. It was a benefit concert for the Morningside Community Center in Harlem, and check out the lineup: Monk, Coltrane, Dizzy Gillespie, Billie Holiday, Ray Charles, Sonny Rollins, Chet Baker, and Zoot Sims . . . Every one a legend, and the top price -- the TOP price, best seat in the house, was $3.95!! Four bucks!! Even in 1957, four bucks wasn't a helluva lot of money -- hard to imagine anyone with the slightest interest in music passing that one up.