2017 is the Centennial of Monk. His music will outlive us all.
I find his music to be remarkably accessible, beautiful, playful, and his playing shows an absolute mastery of rhythm.
Underrated he is not; however, I think he is wrongly considered by many to be avant-gard. His music is VERY accessible, and has deep roots in American music.
" 'Round Midnight" has been recorded by more artists than any other jazz standard actually composed by a jazz musician. I love the following Nelson Riddle arrangement; the strings intro and outro are the stuff of goosebumps.
Monk made the cover of Time magazine.
Not sure where the whole underrated thing comes from.
As previously stated thelonius sphere monk has been regarded as one of the most talented
composers of his time.
Strangely enough,he had to record an album of Ellington compositions early in his career
before some would concede that he actually had a legitimate voice on the instrument.
In retrospect,that fact only confirms that he was ahead of his time.