Composed in 1947, Thelonius Monk’s “In Walked Bud” is a tribute to jazz pianist Bud Powell. The tune’s chord progression borrows from Irving Berlin’s 1927 standard “Blue Skies.”

“In Walked Bud” spans Monk’s career, starting with the 1947 recording sessions for Genius of Modern Music. In 1968, Jon Hendricks added some spontaneously conceived lyrics to a version that made its way into Underground - one of Monk’s final studio albums accompanied by a band.

“In Walked Bud” features a quirky chord progression and freewheeling, serendipitous melody lending the tune to a sort of playfulness despite carefully crafted syncopations. The tune is no stranger to Monk’s signature style and is one of his most popular competitions. 

As All Music shares, “Monk has the almost sonically psychic talent of ‘takin’ that note nobody wrote [and] puttin’ it down.'”

Both the instrumental and vocal versions of “In Walked Bud” have been covered by a variety of artists, including Joe Bonner, Tito Puente and Eddie Palmieri. 

Tune in to First Take with Chavis and Lando - weekdays from 6-9 am MT – for Stories of Standards to hear our favorite versions of this song all week long!

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