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"Bemsha Swing" - what does the title mean?

Discussion in 'Music [DB]' started by Bruce Lindfield, Apr 28, 2005.


  1. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    OK - so we were playing this Monk tune last week and somebody said what does the title mean, or to what is it referring?

    Somebody else said - look it up on the internet - you can find anything there!!

    Well, I've searched as much as I can - but no joy - although I never knew there were so many sites devoted to Monk!! :)

    So - anybody know - was there a place or club (etc.) called "Bemsha" or is it just a made-up word?
     
  2. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    So... no Thelonious Monk experts out there... :meh: ?
     
  3. Alexi David

    Alexi David

    May 15, 2003
    NYC
    I went fishing around, found nothing so far. Interesting question, I'd like to know too.....
     
  4. Damon Rondeau

    Damon Rondeau Journeyman Clam Artist Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2002
    Winnipeg, baby
    I've done some fishing too, including thumbing through the Gourse Monk bio -- nada. Found an old thread on a jazz nerd board where this very question was asked and the folks came up with nothing.

    I'm thinking it's the nickname of a person or place.

    Where does Monk come up with words like crepuscule? Epistrophy? Always the playful genius.
     
  5. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I suppose these things will remain mysteries then, as there probably aren't too many people around who can further add to our knowledge of Monk ...mostly passed away? :(
     
  6. Alexi David

    Alexi David

    May 15, 2003
    NYC
    I know, "crepuscule"!!. Means "twilight". One of my favorite compositions

    "Epistrophy" is a greek word. Epi-stro-PHY. It means "return", as in to "return" from a trip.
     
  7. Damon Rondeau

    Damon Rondeau Journeyman Clam Artist Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2002
    Winnipeg, baby
    ...twilight meaning either in the evening or at dawn. Deer are crepuscular in their feeding, for example. They're out there when the light is changing. Or, after a blistering night of drinking and you find yourself hung over and searching for pain killers in the dawn's early light, you are having a crapulous crepuscule.
     
  8. dhadleyray

    dhadleyray Guest

    Dec 7, 2004
    I was working with some guys from Transylvania, and they knew what it meant. Unfortunately, I've forgotten! Oops, Doh! :bag: I do think it could be Balkan in origin. Just speculating..