It's always nice to have a few of Thelonious Monk's compositions in your jazz repertoire. This tune is a great little blues for jazz players of all levels. Blue Monk's nice med. slow tempo makes it very "playable" and always nice to improvise on. It's probably one of the best Thelonious Monk tunes for beginners too!
The arrangement provided in this PDF was really written for guitarists (and by a guitarist!) The idea is that the melody is easily harmonized using the principle of "walking jazz guitar chords" : the first few lines are chromatically ascending and suit some of the most idiomatic voicings for jazz guitar.
[By the way, by convention the highest note in the staff is the *melody* to this tune. Same goes with most arrangements: melody on top.]
Go slow, make sure you practice each part on its own (I said SLOW!!!) before attempting to play the whole thing. There are quite a few little tricky challenges for you fingers in that jazz guitar arrangement of Blue Monk. Have fun!
Audio Demonstration (EASY Chord Melody)
Here, you can hear the chord melody from the PDF in a fairly slow tempo. It is hard, there are lots of chords, so please forgive the imperfections in the performance! :-)
Suggested listening :
Listen to Thelonious Monk first! (-:
I particularly like the "Live" version at Carnegie Hall with John Coltrane. This recording was lost in the vault for years and released in 2005. Great stuff!