What are The New Standards about?
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.