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Tony Monaco: Master Chops T (2002)

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The title for Tony Monaco's latest album comes from the fiery organist's nickname. Master Chops T was impressive last year in his Summit debut. This year, he's even better. The Hammond B-3 powerhouse unleashes an exciting set with his regular band. There's something in it for everyone – particularly fans of the old organ combo groove. Remember that old organ combo sound? Laid-back guitar, soft-pedaled bass, and organ fire – Monaco does it well. Clean arrangements enable his band to emulate a variety of sounds: from big band swing to Acid Jazz. The leader, who adds vocals on two numbers, recalls the unforgettable Billy Paul , Grammy-winning arrangement of "Me and Mrs. Jones." The session ends with two trio numbers: a burning funk parade, followed by a classic lyrical swinger. Struttin' hard with the drummer's driving New Orleans shuffle, Tony Monaco's band makes you feel as if you're there with them. Master Chops T is a secure outing from a veteran groove-maker.

Track Listing: Acid Wash; White Dude Special; Ya Bay BEE; Gramp's Blues; Ode to Brother Jack; So May it Secretly Begin; Luck Be a Lady; Apple Honey; St. Thomas; Me and Mrs. Jones; Pick Up the Pieces.

Personnel: Tony Monaco- Hammond B3 organ, accordion on "Gramp's Blues," add vocal on "Luck Be a Lady" & "Me and Mrs. Jones;" Derek DiCenzo- guitar, add steel drums on "St. Thomas;" Louis Tsamous- drums; Sarah Morrow- trombone; Donny McCaslin- tenor saxophone; Kenny Rampton- trumpet.

Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


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