Locally Loved Legends
They are about Music, about Town, about Play, about soul, about fun…
Started in 2005 as an off-shoot project between Minneapolis based musicians and friends Chan Poling (piano), Steve Roehm (vibes) and John Munson (bass), TNS has grown into a globe-spanning adventure, filling theaters and clubs around the world, spawning several CDs, videos, cartoons, dance/theater projects, and ancillary gewgaws that have charmed and delighted an ever-multiplying legion of faithful fans.
The three core members of The New Standards all come from illustrious Twin Cities bands. Chan Poling founded the seminal Punk/New Wave band The Suburbs. John Munson was an original member of Trip Shakespeare and the chart-topping Semisonic. And Steve Roehm started on drums in the Texas punk outfit Billygoat and the avant-jazz Electropolis.
All three are fans of great songwriting. Sensing a lack of an interesting jazz trio repertoire beyond the usual “old standards”, they got together originally to play and sing their favorite songs – from every era, particularly post 1960’s pop music – in a stripped-down acoustic setting, making room for solos and arrangements with the freedom of jazz, and yet never fully abandoning the modest soul of pop and rock.
Another thing: though you may associate an acoustic tango version of Brittany Spears “Toxic” with camp, TNS is not a lounge or novelty act. One listen to their music and you realize that they take their music making as well as their jobs as entertainers seriously.
And yet, they are very funny.
The New Standards appear as a trio in intimate clubs like City Winery in NYC and The Dakota Jazz Club in Minneapolis, and also as the ringmasters of a widening array of talented musicians and guest artists in larger settings such as their popular Holiday Shows and dance-crazy extravaganza Variety shows.
“T[he] New Standards holiday show at the Fitzgerald Theater is richer, nuttier and undebatably more satisfying than Aunt Martha’s fruitcake. With an emphasis on the nuttier.” – Minneapolis Star Tribune.
“What a terrific combo. Everything they do is a surprise.” -Greil Marcus
Whatever your favorite incarnation of TNS, don’t miss them when next they come to your town.
What Other People Have Been Saying...
“On its self-titled debut, jazz trio the New Standards takes pop and rock tunes, such “All the Young Dudes,” “Only Love Can Break Your Heart” and “The New Pollution,” then strips them down and juices them back up with vocals, piano, bass and totally cool vibes. It’s a bit quirky, but it works.” – THE NEW YORK POST
“…give these guys an award for being so super cool in their awesome versions of Lou Reed’s “Rock and roll”, The Yeah Yeah Yeah’s “Maps” and Outkast’s “Hey Ya”– Melodic.net (SWEDEN)
“the trio’s rock chops fuel unplugged and jazzy covers of songs by Elvis Costello, Britney Spears and the Clash.” – WNCY.org
“To call The New Standards a covers band is to do a disservice to the trio’s ambition and imagination. They add so much to the songs in their repertoire that you immediately forget these are songs made famous by other bands. … What impressed me most about the band’s performance was that they took ownership of each number.”
“The New Standards at Hotel Cafe was an exceedingly entertaining show and one of the more memorable I’ve seen all year. At night’s end the band literally had the audience asking for more. If nothing else, The New Standards should be commended for making a Britney Spears tune tolerable and breathing fresh life into songs I only thought I knew so well. Spending a night with these boys is wholly recommended.” – The Red Alert • Review of show at Hotel Cafe, Los Angeles