TONY MONACO

Soul Jazz / Funk Jazz / Hard Bop • United States
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Tony Monaco is a leader in a modest revival of the Hammond B3 organ in jazz. As he has been with so many fledgling jazz organists, Jimmy Smith played a significant role in attracting Monaco to jazz and retaining his interest in the music. Monaco was 12 years old when he first heard Smith and, as a 16th birthday present, got a phone call from the organ giant. The culmination of this association came when Smith invited the young performer to join him at Smith's club. Monaco has also been fortunate to spend time with other jazz organ masters, including Hank Marr and Dr. Lonnie Smith. He started subbing for players, like Marr, in and around Columbus, OH, when he was just 16. Monaco has also been helped along by one of his peers, Joey DeFrancesco, who produced Monaco's first album, Burnin' Grooves, and joined the session on piano. Monaco read more...
Thanks to js for the addition and snobb for the updates

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TONY MONACO Discography

TONY MONACO albums / top albums

TONY MONACO Getting In Touch! album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Getting In Touch!
Funk Jazz 1989
TONY MONACO Burnin' Grooves album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Burnin' Grooves
Funk Jazz 2001
TONY MONACO Master Chops “T” album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Master Chops “T”
Funk Jazz 2002
TONY MONACO A New Generation: Paesanos on the New B3 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
A New Generation: Paesanos on the New B3
Funk Jazz 2003
TONY MONACO Fiery Blues album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Fiery Blues
Funk Jazz 2004
TONY MONACO East to West album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
East to West
Funk Jazz 2006
TONY MONACO Celebration album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Celebration
Soul Jazz 2012
TONY MONACO Tony Monaco & Howard Paul : New Adventures album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Tony Monaco & Howard Paul : New Adventures
Soul Jazz 2013
TONY MONACO Furry Slippers album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Furry Slippers
Soul Jazz 2014
TONY MONACO Tony Monaco, Yosuke Onuma & Gene Jackson : At One album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Tony Monaco, Yosuke Onuma & Gene Jackson : At One
Soul Jazz 2016
TONY MONACO The Definition Of Insanity album cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
The Definition Of Insanity
Soul Jazz 2019
TONY MONACO Monaco, Meurkens, Hoyson, Lucas : Strollin' album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Monaco, Meurkens, Hoyson, Lucas : Strollin'
Hard Bop 2021
TONY MONACO Four Brothers album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Four Brothers
Soul Jazz 2022
TONY MONACO Over and over album cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
Over and over
Soul Jazz 2024

TONY MONACO EPs & splits

TONY MONACO live albums

TONY MONACO Intimately Live at the 501 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Intimately Live at the 501
Funk Jazz 2002
TONY MONACO Live at the Orbit Room album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Live at the Orbit Room
Soul Jazz 2008
TONY MONACO Tony Monaco, Yosuke Onuma & Gene Jackson : Live At Cotton Club Japan album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Tony Monaco, Yosuke Onuma & Gene Jackson : Live At Cotton Club Japan
Soul Jazz 2013

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TONY MONACO Reviews

TONY MONACO Over and over

Album · 2024 · Soul Jazz
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js
Back in the 60s and 70s, Hammond B3 soul jazz was a gateway into the jazz world for many RnB and rock fans since so many rock/RnB bands had organ players who brought their soul jazz riffs to a larger rock oriented public. Greg Rollie, Billy Preston, Jon Lord and Greg Allman were just some of the rockers whose solos reflected their interest in the jazz B3 greats they emulated. Unfortunately the B3 and soul jazz fell out of favor during the synthesizer and Rhodes dominated fusion years, kind of ironic since soul jazz was the original fusion, but lo and behold, in the past couple decades soul jazz has staged an unlikely comeback and the sound of the B3 is back on the jazz air waves and nightclubs.

Tony Monaco is a big part of this B3 revival as he has cut 13 albums since 2000 and is still going strong. “Over and Over” is his latest release and it reflects the sort of diversity one can expect from a good soul jazz record. High energy hard bop is represented by “One for Pat Martino” and “Ready Set Go”, and Latin grooves come with “My Lil Rosie Girl” and “Sailboat”. The rest of the album features funk and hip-hop rhythms topped by album closer “Uprooted” which is a dead ringer for a JB’s track, complete with Jimmy Nolan style chicken scratching.

Tony lists the usual B3 suspects as influences, Jimmy McGriff, Groove Holmes, Jack McDuff etc, but probably the influence that shines through the most is Jimmy Smith. Jimmy always had a little more bebop to his playing and less RnB riffing, and Tony’s playing reflects that influence. This should come as no surprise as Tony studied with Smith for several years and has performed at Smith’s club as well. Guitarist Zakk Jones has a contemporary John Schofield influenced sound in which RnB, hard bop and blues blend seamlessly. On the album closer he goes distorted jazz rock style recalling Mike Stern’s work with Miles Davis. Reggie Jackson is the funky drummer that drives this trio as they offer a non-stop joy ride with no dud tracks.

TONY MONACO The Definition Of Insanity

Album · 2019 · Soul Jazz
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js
If there is one musical genre I would not have expected to make a comeback, soul jazz would be that one, and that goes double for Hammond B3 soul jazz. Much like cool jazz and bebop, soul jazz seemed terminally connected to the era that spawned it, and the B3 itself became terribly un-hip during the 80s and seemed destined to stay that way. You can thank both England’s acid jazz scene and changing tastes in US commercial jazz radio for opening the door for funky bluesy B3 jazz to return, but not necessarily in a nostalgic way, this music has managed to adjust and sound relevant and hip again. One deserving recipient of this revival is B3organist Tony Monaco who has just favored us with his 11th album as a leader, “The Definition of Insanity”. This is one helluva fun album, and if that sounds too glib or shallow I’m sorry, but I have been listening to this one a lot lately and it never fails to pick me up, it’s a kick and a half.

“The Definition of Insanity” is an extremely eclectic album, yet it all works. Tony usually includes some originals on his albums, but this time he decided to go mostly with covers and just one original, and that’s where much of the eclecticism comes from as Tony takes on tunes from Phish, Lee Morgan, The Grateful Dead, Floyd Cramer and even includes a classic Italian ballad. Tony cites organists Jimmy Smith, Groove Holmes and Larry Goldings as influences, and all that comes through in his flashy blues drenched solos. Along with plenty of classic soul jazz, this album also covers, Latin, Middle-Eastern grooves, country and a couple vocal ballads too.

Some highlights on here include the driving energy of Phish’s “Cars Trucks Buses”, the contemporary groove of Jimmy Smith’s “Root Down” and the Grateful Dead’s “Truckin” which makes for an excellent soul jazz number. On Floyd Cramer’s country classic, “Last Date”, Tony manages to make the B3 imitate a steel guitar. A couple ballads feature Tony’s vocals which may remind some of Willie Nelson, and that is a good thing. There is a lively energy to this entire outing, during my initial listens I just assumed this was a live date, it certainly sounds like one. As I said earlier, this is a ‘fun’ album, and I definitely need something like this in my collection sometimes.

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