In January 2005, Larry Applebaum was digging through some old Voice of America tapes at the Library of Congress. He found one labeled “sp. Event 11/29/57 carnegie jazz concert (#1).” It turned out to be the only full-length professionally recorded document of the short-lived collaboration between two jazz giants. The discovery allowed critics and historians to flesh out the accepted narrative of how Thelonious Monk influenced John Coltrane.
Thelonious Monk, for example, has a way of turning a melody every which way, like he's figuring out a Rubik's Cube. The pace quickens and slows. You can feel him thinking. You can dart glimpses and see the colors of the song in new configurations.
Ani DiFranco can show you things, too. I've shot pool since I was a kid but never looked at a table like she did in Untouchable Face...
There's a changing constellation of balls as we are playing.
I see Orion and say nothing.
Seu Jorge is another one. His acoustic covers of Ziggy Stardust and Life on Mars, sung in Portuguese, impressed even David Bowie, who found his songs imbued with a new level of beauty.