Sunday, December 27, 2009


Firstly, the really great essay:

Secondly, my note of apprecation

Dear Mr. Yaffe:

I want to compliment you on your excellent essay/book review Misterioso concerning Thelonious Monk. I just read it today.

I particularly liked your upbraiding of those who reduce Monk by objectifying him as child like or even a primitive, rather than according him his complex humanity marked in his later years by illness and suffering coexisting with his brilliance.

I aslo liked your tact and restraint, and your recognition of Robin D.G. Kelley's tact and restraint, in not turning Monk into a political or ideological or racial hobby horse. Rather the substantial focus is on Monk's life and art as it should be.

Also your piece is well written in clear, accessible prose that compels attention.

Thanking you,

Itzik Basman

Thirdly, the gracious note back:

Dear Itzik,

Thanks so much for your kind and thoughtful words.

I write for people like you.

All the best,


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