On her way to the airport after a visit to New York, Nica stopped to visit a friend, the jazz pianist Teddy Wilson, who played her a recording of “Round Midnight” by a then unknown jazz pianist, Thelonious Monk. Unable to believe her ears, she listened to it 20 times in a row and was bewitched. Having missed her plane, she never went home again. Abandoning her husband and five children, she moved into a suite at the Stanhope hotel and set about trying to meet the man who had made this extraordinary record. Naturally, it took a while to track the erratic Monk down. It wasn’t until 1954 that she finally laid eyes on him, having flown to Paris for the privilege. Did he live up to her dreams? Oh, yes. He was, she said, “the most beautiful man she had ever seen”. From that moment, there was no going back. For the next 28 years, Nica devoted her life to Thelonious Monk. In her eyes, he could do no wrong. He was a genius, pure and simple, and there was nothing she would not do – no money she would not spend, no place she would not go – to make his life easier.