I went with family to a couple of malls in Orange County yesterday. They gave me some money for my birthday, so I bought some Jeremy Brett Sherlock Holmes episodes, Jill Thompson's Little Endless Storybook, a Charlie Parker CD, Thelonious Monk's Monks Dream, and I re-purchased The Smiths' Meat is Murder, having lost my previous copy.
I was tipped off about Monks Dream by Peter Straub's wonderful site. Having just begun to cultivate an interest in jazz, it's nice to see what a writer I respect recommends. It's a very sweet album. Many things I've read on Monk seem to describe him as being a sort of creature removed from other pianists, and it's true I've not heard anyone play piano like this. It's restrained, in the good timing way, but very wild, with chords played just out of synch--or the normal conception of in synch, anyway.
We ate at a restaurant called P.F.Chang's yesterday, which I cannot advise against strongly enough. I had spinach and garlic stir-fry, which tasted something like mulched salt licks. Much of my time at the malls was spent in the bathrooms thereafter.