March Through Time: The Monkees

Time was, the Monkees were a “guilty pleasure” for many. Time has rightly been kind to the group, and they’ve undergone a near-complete re-assessment. Did they all play on their early records? Well, no. Did The Byrds play on theirs? Did the Wrecking Crew play on everybody’s (except The Turtles’)? Good – and sometimes great

Adi the Monk: The ‘Cosmic Thread” Running Though His Music

Asheville’s music community features an impressive number of unique personalities. But it’s safe to say that only one has a personal history that includes a period spent as a Vaishnava monk. Ādi Puruṣa Das performs and records as Adi the Monk, making instrumental music that – on the surface at least – has little to

Album Review: Adi the Monk

In the current music marketplace – a world in which many of the barriers to entry have, for better and worse, been removed – it never hurts to have an interesting back story. Asheville-based Adi the Monk certainly has his bases covered in that respect. He’s likely the only musician working in Western North Carolina

Album Review: More of the Monkees (Super Deluxe Edition)

Too often the Monkees have been dismissed, and called names like the Prefab Four. While it’s undeniable that the group was assembled by music and television executives looking to capitalize upon the popularity of the Beatles, the Monkees were certainly not the only rock/pop act of that era to be put together by behind-the-scenes figures:

Album Mini-review: The Monkees — Good Times!

Call them a guilty pleasure if you must: at their core The Monkees were as “real” a group as many others of their era. And there’s no denying that they made a lot of music that has worn well this last half-century. Various reunions have yielded enjoyable tours, but little in the way of memorable

Album Review: Thelonious Monk — The Complete Riverside Recordings

In my final year of college, I was exceedingly fortunate to have signed up for a course called American Popular Music History: Stephen Foster to the Present. There were only six of us in the class, and our professor was one Murray Silver; he had just co-authored Myra Lewis‘ book, Great Balls of Fire. But

Roger Hart: Monkees to His Madness (Part Two)

Continued from Part One… Roger Hart – manager of Paul Revere and the Raiders during the 1960s – picks up his story about developing the treatment Madness, an idea that he says was realized as the hit TV show The Monkees. – bk “And,” he continues, “I gave it to one of the program directors

Roger Hart: Monkees to His Madness (Part One)

Fans of 1960s pop are – to varying degrees – familiar with Paul Revere and the Raiders; the band enjoyed a long string of hit albums and singles that stretched into the 70s. And thanks to their high visibility via the weekday television program Where the Action Is, the Raiders influenced a generation, not least

Album Review: The Thelonious Monk Quartet – Misterioso

Serious rock fans know the tale of Big Star. The Memphis group – led initially by Chris Bell and Alex Chilton – released two (or three, depending on whether one considers Third/Sister Lovers part of the canon) albums in the 1970s, and all three were greeted by commercial indifference (and some bad luck). Years later,

Album Review: Thelonius Monk Quartet with John Coltrane at Carnegie Hall

In my occasional Blast from the Past blog entries, I take a quick look at notable reissues from notable recording artists — some you’ll recognize; some you probably missed. All are worth a closer look. Jazz fans know that one of the most legendary collaborations in the genre was the string of live 1956-’57 Monk