Thelonious Moog - Yes, We Didn't [Grown Up Records, 2003]


Take a handful of already quirky melodies from jazz music's most idiosyncratic composer and pianist and mix 'em with a healthy dose of vintage synth sounds. Then find a couple of experienced musicians to cook up a groovy brew... and presto: Thelonious Moog!

The resulting album Yes, we didn't is great fun from start to finish. Monk classics like Off Minor, Misterioso, and I Mean You are played on Moog, Arp, Buchla and other vintage synthesizers. The sound however is fresh and contemporary. A lot of the Moog albums released in the early 70s sound pretty bland, but on Yes, we didn't the musicians obviously have great fun recreating the weird melodies and intricate harmonies of Thelonious Monk. From the Jean-Jacques Perrey-esque treatment of Off Minor to the haunting melody of Ugly beauty (a jazz waltz!) to the bizarre carnival sounds of Jackie-ing every tune is a treat.

The album ends with the funky title track: a Monk-meets-hip-hop workout that leaves the listener begging for more (a remix album anyone?!). And just when you thought the music had finished you get 2 more bonus tracks that are even weirder than the rest of the album.

Okay guys, now when will that The Moog plays Sun Ra album be ready?

Marco Kalnenek

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Thelonious Moog - Yes, We Didn't