Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

He’s already portrayed the legendary Nelson Mandela, now Golden Globe-winning actor Idris Elba has his sights set on another icon—Thelonius Monk. According to The Times of India, Elba wants to portray the one of his musical heroes in a new biopic.

thelonious-monk-photo-by-jim-marshall-from-stop-smiling-34“Thelonious Monk. He was a legendary jazz musician. When jazz was popular in the early 50s, Monk came along and just did something weird with it and everyone was like, ‘He’s a bit odd.’ He had mental health issues he didn’t realise he had for a long time, but he was an absolute genius because he just came in and broke all the rules”.

Apparently Elba is fascinated by the late musician’s ability to make great music while dealing with mental illness.

According to Monk’s Wikipedia page, he is the second most recorded jazz composer following Duke Ellington. He died of a stroke on February 17, 1982 at age 64 and was buried in Ferncliff Cemetery in Hartsdale, New York. He was also awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1993 posthumously and was awarded a special Pulitzer Prize in 2006 for “a body of distinguished and innovative musical composition that has had a significant and enduring impact on the evolution of jazz.”

Check out Ledisi‘s version of Monk’s monster hit “Round Midnight” below. It is the most recorded jazz standard composed by a jazz musician ever.

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