Thelonious Monk Septet - Well, You Needn't [1947]

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Thelonious Monk Septet - Well, You Needn't [1947]

A 32-bar tune in AABA-form that is one of Monk's most popular tunes, and is famous for its chromatically ascending/descending chords. The tune was earlier known as "You Need 'Na". The tune was first recorded on October 24, 1947, for the Genius of Modern Music sessions. It later appears on Piano Solo, Monk's Music, and on Les Liaisons dangereuses 1960. Live versions appear on most of Monk's live albums.
The title was inspired by jazz singer Charles Beamon. Monk wrote a song and told Beamon he was going to name it after him, to which Beamon replied, "Well, you need not".
There are three widely played versions of the tune;
- Monk's version uses an F pedal in the A section, with an obbligato figure in addition to the melody. The line rises chromatically from C for each bar, then descends when it has reached E. The bridge starts on D♭, then ascends and descends chromatically to C, the dominant.
- Monk would in later versions play alternatingly F and G♭ when comping, but keep the bridge as it was.
- Miles Davis's version of the tune is comparatively more popular. Davis alters the A section's main motif, and tritone substitutes Monk's changes during the bridge. Therefore, Miles Davis starts the melody of the bridge a half-step too low. He later recorded a contrafact of the tune, called "I Didn't", and appears on the album The Musings of Miles.
Mike Ferro later wrote lyrics to the tune, and the song was recorded in 1988 by Carmen McRae as part of her studio album Carmen Sings Monk. For copyright reasons, the song was renamed "It's Over Now".

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