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Tony Monaco: Fiery Blues

Jim Santella By

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Tony Monaco's explosive Fiery Blues session may be his best ever. Settling into a comfortable groove, he unleashes the soulful power of the blues, and its magnetic attraction holds you in its spell.

Guitarist Derek DiCenzo and drummer Louis Tsamous have developed a delicious rapport with the organist. Together, they interpret standards and originals with vibrant energy. As the house starts rockin' and the fires heat up, each artist provides more fuel. Monaco drives with genuine soul.

Horace Silver's "The Preacher" opens with guest saxophonist Gene Walker spreadin' the word. His emotional outpouring leads to a burning guitar tribute by DiCenzo. Then Monaco sums it up with a sermon that would convince any audience.

"All Blues" features Robert Kraut on guitar, as he and Monaco team with Tsamous to give that familiar theme a fresh look. The piece connotes mellow textures, but Monaco's trio kicks it into high gear. With a similar drive, the organist takes Don Patterson's "Mellow Soul" on a trip. Walker returns, and the ensemble builds from its casual atmosphere into a classic tumult on Monaco's fiery spirit.

Blues singer Willie Pooch joins for three selections, giving the listener a strong prescription for what ails ya. His persuasive interpretations, particularly on "Stormy Monday," give the session another avenue to reach out forcefully. Monaco's session connects with his audience convincingly, from one man's heart to a world of open arms.

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Track Listing: Goin' To A Meetin'; Everyday I Have The Blues; Greasy Spoon; Mellow Soul; Ashleen; Crosscut Saw; The Hooker; Stormy Monday; All Blues; The Preacher.

Personnel: Tony Monaco--Hammond B3 Organ; Robert Kraut, Tom Carroll, Derek DiCenzo--Guitar; Louis Tsamous, Jim Rupp--Drums; Gene Walker--Saxophones; Willie Pooch--Vocals.

Title: Fiery Blues | Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: Summit Records

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