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ALBUM REVIEWS

Tony Monaco: The Definition of Insanity

Read "The Definition of Insanity" reviewed by Nicholas F. Mondello

The popular quote referenced in this CD's title has been attributed to many--most frequently to Albert Einstein. With this fine offering, organ virtuoso Tony Monaco steers clear of Sisyphean do-overs and delivers eleven diverse and well-performed tracks. “Cars Trucks Buses" by Phish's Page McConnell kicks the session off with a hefty, “short'nin' bread" B3 cooker. From this slick get-go, Monaco shows he's got A1 jazz chops and his colleagues are right there with him on the trip. ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Tony Monaco: The Definition of Insanity

Read "The Definition of Insanity" reviewed by Mark Corroto

Did you order it? Somebody ordered the party platter, because B3 maestro Tony Monaco is delivering. His music is for all intents and purposes a celebration. With The Definition of Insanity, a reference to doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result, he confesses to be under the influence of the same mania as the legends Jimmy Smith, Brother Jack McDuff, Reuben Wilson, Richard “Groove" Holmes, and Jimmy McGriff. If this man is insane, I ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Tony Monaco: Furry Slippers

Read "Furry Slippers" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki

Through nine releases, primarily from his home studio in jny: Columbus, Ohio, Tony Monaco has proved that he's a solid link in the hip Hammond B-3 organ chain that reaches from contemporaries such as Wil Blades and Joey DeFrancesco all the way back to Jimmy Smith and other founders of the Hammond groove. At a recent Java Jazz Festival (in Indonesia), Monaco met drummer Greg Fundis and guitarist Fareed Haque, and the three hit it off so well that they ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Kevin Coelho: Funkengruven: The Joy of Driving a B3

Read "Funkengruven: The Joy of Driving a B3" reviewed by Hrayr Attarian

Kevin Coelho's debut, Funkengruven: The Joy of Driving a B3, is a tight trio affair that showcases the young organist's versatility as he successfully cooks his way through originals, R&B songs and fusion and bop standards. Coelho brings a religious celebratory feel to teacher Randy Master's “Take A Stand," as his Hammond B3 lets forth spiritual and sophisticated harmonies. This contrasts well with the unabashedly sensual groove of Dr Lonnie Smith's “Play it Back." Harking back to ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Tony Monaco: Celebration

Read "Celebration" reviewed by Hrayr Attarian

If organists Shirley Scott and Jimmy Smith had formed some sort of a musical union, the offspring would no doubt have been Tony Monaco. Manifesting the melodicism of the former, the orchestral sensibilities of the latter and virtuosity of both, Monaco has become one of the most versatile and dazzling performers on the Hammond B3. The limited edition two-CD Celebration, on Monaco's own Chicken Coop label finds The organist in the company of various collaborators and in ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

George Kontrafouris: Little Daddy's Blues

Read "Little Daddy's Blues" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

Born in Greece, Hammond B-3 denizen George Kontrafouris' organ combo fare sounds purely American in scope and attack. In a nutshell, he has it all down to a science. And with testimonials by fellow B-3 great Tony Monaco cited within the liners, the music iterated here features a Texas roadhouse type gala, spiced up with snappy pulses and tenor saxophonist Manuel Dunkel's edgy choruses. However, it's Kontrafouris' cagey right-hand voicings and broad comprehension and implementations of the jazz vernacular that ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Tony Monaco: East to West

Read "East to West" reviewed by Jim Santella

Launching a new label that remains a division of Summit Records, Tony Monaco honors organist Jimmy Smith and a generation of groove-oriented artists who have followed. His “I'll Remember Jimmy starts off the album: it's an up-tempo, blues-oriented smoker that lets his organ/guitar trio light up the path for all to see and experience. He leads the way with an in-depth rhythmic groove and colorful harmonic colors that capture the original essence.

The rest of the session continues ...


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