Neal Umphred

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Neal Umphred
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Front cover of Thelonious Monk's final album for Columbia, MONK'S BLUES of 1969.

Front cover of Thelonious Monk's final album for Columbia, MONK'S BLUES of 1969.

Front cover of Thelonious Monk's GREATEST HITS album in 1969. The letters look like Columbia's art department hadn't forgotten the sunning letters on the Byrds' FIFTH DIMENSION album of 1966.

Front cover of Thelonious Monk's GREATEST HITS album in 1969. The letters look like Columbia's art department hadn't forgotten the sunning letters on the Byrds' FIFTH DIMENSION album of 1966.

Front cover of Thelonious Monk's UNDERGROUND stereo album of 1968. This gem featured cover art that Dylan must be envying to this day . . .

Front cover of Thelonious Monk's UNDERGROUND stereo album of 1968. This gem featured cover art that Dylan must be envying to this day . . .

Front cover of Thelonious Monk's STRAIGHT, NO CHASER album from 1967 has a very modern art look for the cover graphics.

Front cover of Thelonious Monk's STRAIGHT, NO CHASER album from 1967 has a very modern art look for the cover graphics.

Front cover of Thelonious Monk's MISTERISIO album from 1966 with another gorgeous, moody cover photo..

Front cover of Thelonious Monk's MISTERISIO album from 1966 with another gorgeous, moody cover photo..

Record for Thelonious Monk's SOLO MONK from 1965. Here the title of the album appears to be "Solo" by "Monk."

Record for Thelonious Monk's SOLO MONK from 1965. Here the title of the album appears to be "Solo" by "Monk."

Front cover of Thelonious Monk's SOLO MONK from 1965. Here the title of the album appears to be "Solo Monk."

Front cover of Thelonious Monk's SOLO MONK from 1965. Here the title of the album appears to be "Solo Monk."

MONK. with a period has a beautiful, atmospheric front cover.

MONK. with a period has a beautiful, atmospheric front cover.

IT'S MONK' TIME (Columbia CL-2184, mono)mwith a gold promotional sticker—a sticker that I associate with millions of mono LPs deleted from Columbia's active catalog in 1968.

IT'S MONK' TIME (Columbia CL-2184, mono)mwith a gold promotional sticker—a sticker that I associate with millions of mono LPs deleted from Columbia's active catalog in 1968.

MILES & MONK AT NEWPORT (Columbia CS-8978, stereo) is one of the few times that Davis shared an album with anyone.

MILES & MONK AT NEWPORT (Columbia CS-8978, stereo) is one of the few times that Davis shared an album with anyone.

Thelonious Monk's BIG BAND & QUARTET (Columbia CL-2164, mono) still in its original 1964 shrinkwrap.

Thelonious Monk's BIG BAND & QUARTET (Columbia CL-2164, mono) still in its original 1964 shrinkwrap.

Front cover of Thelonious Monk's CRISS-CROSS mono album 1963 with its beautiful, mesmerizing photo of Monk at the piano..

Front cover of Thelonious Monk's CRISS-CROSS mono album 1963 with its beautiful, mesmerizing photo of Monk at the piano..

A rather rare record indeed is Columbia CS-8765, MONK'S DREAM, on translucent red vinyl from 1963.

A rather rare record indeed is Columbia CS-8765, MONK'S DREAM, on translucent red vinyl from 1963.

White label promo of Thelonious Monk's MONK'S DREAM album 1963.

White label promo of Thelonious Monk's MONK'S DREAM album 1963.

Front cover of Thelonious Monk's MONK'S DREAM album 1963 with promotional "New Star on Columbia" sticker.

Front cover of Thelonious Monk's MONK'S DREAM album 1963 with promotional "New Star on Columbia" sticker.