Saturday, November 07, 2015

Thelonious Moog - "American Standard"

Thelonious Moog's debut album was, as you might expect, jazz cats playing Mr. Monk on vintage synths. Their 2007 follow-up, "American Standard," ditched the music of their namesake for an unpredictable, irreverent romp ranging from heavy cats like Gershwin, Brubeck, & Zappa, to the EZ kitsch of those thrift-store inevitables "Alley Cat" and Al Hirt's "Java," all getting the same zany Space-Age treatment and some ingenious arrangements. Raymond Scotts' "Powerhouse" is dunked in wacky cartoon sound-effects, Duke Ellington's exotica standard "Caravan" goes surf-rock (+ odd noises) and one of my fave kooky '70s glam classics, "Hocus Pocus" by Focus, gets tackled here twice. All quite silly, but played by pros, and plenty fun - one of the best novelty albums of the '00s.

Thelonious Moog - American Standard

  • 1.Powerhouse
  • 2.T 4 2
  • 3.Hocus Pocus (Swingin' 60's)
  • 4.Caravan
  • 5.Take 5, 6,& 7
  • 6.Got Rhythm?
  • 7.Alley Cat
  • 8.Duodenum
  • 9.Hocus Pocus (Bossa Nova)
  • 10.Have U Seen It Yet?
  • 11.Java
  • 12.Harlem Nocturne


Mike O'Donnell said...

Woooo. This is not only maniacal, it is truly witty. The demonstration that, while "Take 5" is fine music, 5/4 time is not such a big deal. Then, "Got Rhythm?" OMG.

Is there any way to get the album notes, e.g. an image of the back of the jacket?

Mr Fab said...

Back cover, and notes? I'll have to pull out the CD and my trusty camera and see what
I can do. ("Witty" is indeed the word for this.)

Tom_Wheeler said...

Do you have the debut with the Monk covers?

Mr Fab said...

I do tom, but it's in print, so can't post it. (Tho I could post a song or 2 from it.)

Mike O'Donnell said...

I found the back cover at

Alas, it has only the track list, no notes. It's quite possible that there are no notes, and we are expected to notice everything interesting on our owns, but as a denser spirit, I'd like to see the perpetrators' own description.

Tom_Wheeler said...

Hilariously, when I went to Amazon to check for it, the site told me I bought it in 2006; so I guess it's in one of those boxes in the living room I haven't filed yet....slightly embarrassing.

Take care & I'm enjoying listening to "American Standard" as I type and click.

Mr Fab said...

Looking at my CD now. Yep, that's the back, and on the inside there are no notes as such, just thanks, and musician credits - the same credits on that cduniverse page you linked to. So not much point in going thru the hassle of getting a pic of it.

That is funny Tom, but it's happened to me a few times that I've bought an album, gone to file it...and there's a copy already on my shelf. D'oh!

Muff Diver said...

Thanks, Mr Fab!

Frank Blunt- said...

Hi! I'm Guido with Thelonious Moog.

Contact me if you need copies!

Thans for the kind words!