Four in One (composition)

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"Four in One" is a bebop composition by Thelonious Monk first recorded in 1951 on Blue Note 1589 with Sahib Shihab (alto saxophone), Milt Jackson (vibraphone), Thelonious Monk (piano), Al McKibbon (bass), and Art Blakey (drums).[1][2]

The melody is usually played in medium tempo (~140 bpm). The form is AABA with 8 bars each. Although the title implies otherwise, "Four in One" has no even subdivision of bars or beats; instead, quarter and sixteenth quintuples are employed, the former even subdivided into triples which makes an even subdivision of 15 notes in one bar.[clarification needed] The unconventional rhythm lets the melody appear more hectic than usual Monk compositions.

The chords for "Four in One", are derived from the standard "Five Foot Two", which is also likely the source of the title i.e. each part of the title is a reduction by one of "Five Ft. Two" thus becoming "Four In. One" ("Five" becomes "Four"; Feet (ft.) become "Inches" (in.) and “Two" becomes “One.")[citation needed]

The composition was released on Blue Note as Blue Note 1589: "The Thelonious Monk Quintet – Four In One / Straight No Chaser" as a shellac, 10" 78 RPM Single in 1952.[3]


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