Why does "Monk's Music" vinyl sound strange?

I just opened and played an Analogue Productions 45-RPM stereo copy of Thelonius Monk's “Monk's Music” and I have to admit being a little vexed by both the production and - well, I'm not sure if its the pressing or the recording quality or what? I'll mention up front that this is with out question my favorite record of all time without any consideration given to fidelity whatsoever. I've owned three different versions of it starting with a stereo OJC redbook CD, a 20bit mono CD and now the 45RPM vinyl. While I've been very impressed with the other 45RPM pressings I've heard, this one seems a bit off and I'm not sure what the problem is. On the detail side, I get the impression that there were only two mikes in the room when they recorded. This puts the horns hard-left with the piano hard-right and the drums, and especially the bass to fend for themselves in the background. This works OK for the piano and drums which come off as right-middle and middle respectively, but the bass is almost inaudible.

There's a really odd phenomena listening to it as a whole. It is readily apparent that I'm getting more resolution than on the CDs, with real depth to the recording. The piano, unlike so many recordings of the era, has some real sense of scale to it. There is some detail of people making noise in the background that I've never heard before. But yet as a whole the record sounds a little veiled leaving me feeling as though I want to turn the volume way up to be able to hear it better. This is particularly apparent with the horns, even though they are by far the most forward within the soundstage, they actually sound a little reticent. I put the 20bit CD in after I listened just to compare, and indeed the bass and horns sound a little more etched as individual instruments (even in mono), but the rest of it just falls flat by comparison. The vinyl is clearly superior, but still....

So I guess my question is this: Has anyone else heard this pressing and what did you think? Is the quality of the pressing so good that its revealing flaws in the original tapes? Riverside is not always a great recording label. What's wrong with this record, or am I just being nuts?
If you're used to listening to the mono version, this stereo version will sound very different. Two different mike setups were used. Here are Steve Hoffman's comments:

The stereo and mono recordings of this album were done with two separate microphone setups. The stereo had two mics up in the air and the recording is not as close miked sounding as the up-front mono version (on Chad's MONK box set). The stereo version is one of those "you are there" recordings, you can reach out and touch the players!

Those two microphones in stereo essentially act as a pair of ears. It's like you are standing right in the middle of the studio, with Monk on your right, the drums behind him and the two sax players (John Coltrane and the father of modern Saxophone, Coleman Hawkins) on the other side of you. Quite exciting. The mono has the bass miked and the stereo doesn't, but it sure sounds realistic. The tape boxes were marked "binaural" by the way....

The 45 rpm stereo record certainly sounds great here, but as Steve Hoffman points out, it's not as close-up as the mono due to the difference in mike placement for the stereo recording.
Slightly off topic, but I own a SACD/CD hybrid version that's outstanding, IMO. I've listened only to the SACD layer.
Rushton - So they actually ran two seperate mic setups instead of doing one stereo and down mixing to mono? That is interesting. Especially compared to, say, the RVG recordings where he down-mixed everything.

Its two bad they didn't have those central baffled mics that they use now. That might have made for better imaging.
Yep, two separate mike setups, per Steve Hoffman. Capitol was using separate mike setups in this period, too. RVG seemed more successful in the same period capturing a true stereo image in his two channel recordings thanis reflected in this Riverside recording, even though a bit of care apparently is needed pulling out the best results, again per Hoffman. Consider how early in the stereo era this was - 1957. While the stereo imaging is not there, still very direct and transparent sounding.
Any thoughts on what accounts for that 'veiled' sound? I listened again last night and I really do think it may just be the vinyl revealing some limited recording quality. I suppose it may have been the recording setup and inexperience recording in stereo.

There are a couple of other recordings of that specific era that I think were recorded the same way. I have a MJQ at Music Inn, Featuring Sonny Rollins, an early stereo on Atlantic that was done the same way.
I haven't listened to this record for a while and my system is down at the moment so I can't play it to refresh my recollection. I don't recall noticing this record sounding veiled here, and I've not read any comments from others about this record being other than excellent (which has been my experience).

Have you wet vac cleaned the record using a good cleaning solution (like AIVS or Walker Prelude)? Have you attempted to finetune your VTA to see what changes you get?
Could your vinyl system or this recording be phase inverted? Jeff
No, the system is ok. In fact, listening to the first track - Abide With Me - where its just the horns it actually sounds amazing. It sounds like they were a little closer to the mic on this one.

In fact, if there were only two mics used I think what I may be hearing as reticence might be some distance between the horns and the mic? Who knows.

I think I have a conclusion for this one: This is the absolute best pressing of an imperfect recording of the greatest jazz date ever recorded, warts and all.

It is growing on me.
Dear Grimace: I listen right now to the original mono version of this record and it is very well recorded. All instruments are well defined and there is a sence of space between them quite astonishing for a mono recording. The bass is very good and drums awesome. Nice music indeed.
I have not heard a stereo version.
i used to have a later riverside copy and thought the whole thing sounded dull. When i got a first pressing, I guess i got lucky. It's mono but the sound is clear and open. It went form being a record I thought sounded lousy to a really great record sonically. The fine quality of the music goes without saying.
Well, I did find something that helped. I was reading Larry Greenhill's review of the Burmeister B25 in this month's Stereophile and he was placing the speakers just six feet apart. So I moved mine in from eight feet to six and toed them in a little more to directly face my chair. That seemed to help somewhat with the empty space in the middle of the image. It also helps with soundstage depth a little. Unfortunately it doesn't work for things like McClean's 'Jackie's Bag' which is hopelessly hard-left/hard-right. Sounds great with Blue Trane, which for an RVG, is recorded without the hard-panning.