( 1917-1982 )
Pianist and composer Thelonious Sphere Monk was celebrated as a genius of modern jazz. Born in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, Monk had a unique compositional and improvisational style, and made numerous contributions to the standard jazz repertoire, including Epistrophy, Round Midnight, Blue Monk, and Straight, No Chaser. A delightfully idiosyncratic performer, he is one of only five jazz musicians to be featured on the cover of Time magazine. Monk is the second most recorded jazz composer after Duke Ellington.