Tony Monaco fronts two organ trios on this album of hot standards. The leader and two excellent guitar traditionalists make the session stand out. Monaco maintains a lively rhythmic groove, while everyone adds fuel to the fire. Trading fours and stretching out, each trio member participates independently. And yet, they're cohesive. Derek DiCenzo and Louis Tsamous work with the organist on "Backward Shack," "Fungi Mama" and "So Long for Now." Paul Bollenback and Byron Landham – longtime associates of Joey DeFrancesco – jam with Monaco for the rest. The courage required of him in overcoming neuralgic amyotrophy speaks to the organist's enthusiasm. His motivation has carried him through tough times from age 15 on. External motivation has come from Jimmy Smith and Joey DeFrancesco; both encouraging him to perform with them at key intervals. More about Monaco's courageous battle and highlights from this, his latest album, are available from his web site .
Joey DeFrancesco sits in on piano for "Girl Talk," the session's lone vocal number. His romping interlude burns in vintage form. That track and "Bluesette" represent the album's high points. This is hot, straight-ahead jazz. There are no low points.
Track Listing: Blues for T; Backward Shack; Girl Talk; Fungi Mama; Jumpin' the Blues; Ashleen; Bluesette; Road Song; So Long For Now.
Personnel: Tony Monaco- Hammond B3 organ, vocals; Joey DeFrancesco- piano; Paul Bollenback, Derek DiCenzo- guitar; Byron Landham, Louis Tsamous- drums.
Rhythm Abstraction: Azure is the first volume of new compositions created as a follow up to 2018’s
release Rhythm Kaleidoscope. As with that release, Brock Avery improvised drum and percussion
solos. Frank Macchia then composed music for woodwinds and orchestra to Brock’s creations. Azure
is the first of three extended play albums of 6-7 compositions which will be released starting in
January and followed up in April and July. In Azure we have a created a group of pieces that continue
our quest for honoring the art of improvisation with a “stream-of-consciousness” sense of
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