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The Round of 64 for Sound of the City’s own version of March Madness—in which you, the Sound of the City voting public, help determine the quintessential New York musician—is a little jam-packed today, with six matches on the docket. (The schedule and results so far are here; the full, updated bracket is here.) This time out, we’re back in the Brooklyn quadrant of the bracket for a match between jazz pioneer Thelonious Monk and . Check out the arguments in favor of each below, and vote at Facebook for your favorite.
Born in North Carolina, Thelonious Monk moved to W. 66th Street with his family in 1922—just beyond where Lincoln Center would be built 30 years later—and made the apartment his base for most of his adult life. Playing in the house band at Minton’s in Harlem with Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, and others, Monk and the Minton’s band all but invented bebop and, consequently, modern jazz; Monk’s idiosyncratic chording was an irreplaceable building block in the music’s language. A New York City musician through and through, Monk remained a fixture at after hour jams (such as at W. Eugene Smith’s jazz loft in the Flower District) as much as concert halls and clubs, until he entered a period of mysterious reclusion beginning in the late 1960s.
TV ON THE RADIO
It’s no easy feat for a few Brooklynites tinkering with avant-garde barber shop quartet harmonies to become an internationally lauded, David Bowie-wrangling, commercially-viable-but-innovative-and-emotionally-enveloping rock band with the grace and ease with which TV on the Radio have managed to do it with. Though more notably skeletal, 2003’s Young Liars EP still stacks up against almost any of the band’s four subsequent full-length releases, thanks to the fact that these guys have always had the songwriting chops to match their imagination. Certain incarnations have proven more dancefloor-friendly (Dear Science), or more austere (Nine Types of Light), but TVOTR are real contenders because even though they’ve taken steps in various directions in the past ten years, they have yet to miss one.