Jump Monk

Originally Performed ByCharles Mingus
Original AlbumMingus at the Bohemia (1955)
MusicCharles Mingus
Phish Debut1988-03-12
Last Played1994-04-24
Current Gap1254
HistorianMockingbird Staff
Last Update2011-07-12


Phish has played this Charles Mingus instrumental on only two known occasions: to open the first known live Gamehendge show (complete with narration) on 3/12/88 at Nectar’s in Burlington, and then as the meat of a “Bathtub Gin” sandwich on 4/24/94 in Charlotte, NC. 

On the original, Mingus began a period of fusing gospel and blues into jazz movements, and thereby pushed innovation forward (into hard bop) even while paying homage to jazz greats – here, pianist/composer Thelonious Monk, who often danced around while performing. In covering the tune, Phish, and Trey in particular, signaled their move from relatively isolative composers with strong jazz roots to performance innovators with great ambitions. 

Though Phish has not covered the tune since, Bad Hat continued to cover the tune in the 90s, and Trey has since acknowledged that he used part of the chord progression in “Stash.” 

Charles Mingus Big Band – ”Jump Monk”

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