Thelonious Monk

Besides his passion for jazz, Louis Joos prefers to devote himself to characters close to the fringe, and Monk was strange, with schizoid tendencies, like Bud Powell with whom he had a privileged relationship and with whom he was arrested for possession of drug. Because of that, he was barred from the New York clubs for five years. And that was not to be his last troubles with the police.

Monk's music looked sometimes as much out of key as he was himself... He didn't hesitate to discord or put humor into it, and this was not always appreciated by the critics of these days.

The book is full of anecdotes on the jazz world and some of it's most famous protagonists: James P. Johnson, John Coltrane, Bud Powell, Charlie Parker, Miles Davis (with whom he had sometimes tense moments), and many others...

For those interested or drawn to Monk, there is a remarkable documentary film "Straight No Chaser" by Charlotte Zwerin, a small budget film that manages to show the incredible emotion that is been given off this disconcerting character.

If you appreciate this, you'll be glad to know that Louis Joos is working on a new book whom subject, believe it or not, will be jazz, but also guilt (sounds like a thriller !).

Moreover, he is still looking for a publisher for a story about Marvin Gaye , "soul" singer (it isn't jazz, but not far off), who lived in Ostende for a while before being shot by his father, a minister, to whom his music must have sounded satanic.

Here is the list of other books by Louis Joos, among which you'll find "Escales" where the range of his talent is fully illustrated (charcoal, water-colour, oil,...):

Written by Richard Wandel at