Columbia/Legacy is continuing their re-release/re-mastering program of restoring Thelonious Monk’s mid-60s catalog with It’s Monk’s Time, a typically fine album that mixes quartet and solo pieces. What’s notable about this set - aside from the three bonus cuts, that is - is the extended nature of many of the tunes as well as three then-new numbers ("Shuffle Boil," "Stuffy Turkey," "Brake’s Sake"). The longest track is over 12 minutes and the shortest over four, yet the one thing they all have in common regardless of length is the ought-to-be-copyrighted Monk wit and economy. Monk’s right-hand, tenor Charlie Rouse sounds especially hale, hearty and honking to his heart’s (and our) delight. On the solo tracks, Monk gets to revisit/revive his roots in stride piano (a style of piano playing where the pianist's left hand maintains a continuous pulse in groups of four beats by percussively playing a bass note on the 1st and 3rd beats and a chord on the second and fourth beats; the right hand improvises harmonies & melodies). For the uninitiated, T. Monk (1917-1982) was one of the founding fathers of bebop (jazz’s avant-garde of the 40s), but even among the boppers he was an oddity, because his style bespoke of an angularity, oddball wit and brevity (his silences spoke as loudly as his notes). Between Blue Note, Prestige and Columbia, Monk amassed an impressive catalog, daunting perhaps to the newcomer - the genial performances of It’s Monk’s Time, recorded during one of his most fertile and happy periods, make this one of the ideal points of entry into T.M.’s universe, and fans of course will want it (GREAT sound, this has).