What do opera and bebop have in common?
Not much, except that today, October 10, is the birthday of both Thelonious Monk and Giuseppe Verdi. Thelonious Monk, born in North Carolina in 1917, is best known as one of the prime inventors of bebop, a kind of jazz that uses repitition of sound to create a jumpy, irregular phrasing out of standard tunes. Monk played music with the likes of Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie and John Coltrane. His two most popular albums are Brilliant Corners and Thelonious Monk with John Coltrane.
Giuseppe Verdi was born in Parma, Italy in 1813. His first opera, Oberto, performed at La Scala, was a modest success. After the tragic death of his wife, Verdi vowed he would never compose again but after reading the brilliant libretto of Nabucco, he changed his mind. Verdi wrote a total of 26 operas, his most famous, Rigoletto, La Traviata and Falstaff.