Recognized as one of the most original musicians in American history, Thelonious Sphere Monk fashioned a startlingly unique, inimitable playing and composing style that influenced virtually every succeeding jazz generation. His playing technique offered a percussive approach to the piano, identified by sparse, complex, sometimes dissonant harmonies, developed from unusual intervals and rhythms, and imbued with warmth and playfulness. Monk's name is synonymous with the creation of modern jazz. His bold musical conceptions sought to bind harmony and rhythm seamlessly to melody. A classically trained pianist, he was deeply influenced by Harlem's stride piano tradition.