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Tony Moreno: Short Stories


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Tony Moreno: Short Stories
Manhattan-native drummer Tony Moreno was born into and for music, his mother, Nina Dunkel Moreno, a noted harpist, pianist and educator. Oh, and he received his first drum kit at ten-years old from... Elvin Jones who became his early mentor and teacher. Moreno has had a long and storied career, filled with memories and mementos, many of the latter lost when Hurricane Sandy made East Coast landfall in October 2012. After losing his studio, library, and trove of his mother's musical memorabilia, The 55 Bar (55 Christopher St. (Sixth/Seventh Avenue) New York City, in the heart of Greenwich Village) offered Moreno a monthly residence for his quintet. It was during this period of rebuilding that Moreno conceived and assembled the two-disc Short Stories.

The quintet Moreno brought to the 55 Bar and into the recording studio was a group he had worked with the previous four years. Pianist Jean-Michel Pilc, bassist Ugonna Okegwo, tenor saxophonist Marc Mommaas and trumpeter Ron Horton, with Moreno, realized one of the most durable formats in small ensemble bop, beginning with Charlie Parker and perfected with Miles Davis' two great quintets: the trumpet-tenor fronted band. It is out of this tradition from which Moreno springs, but is not satisfied with imitating. The music on Short Stories represents a next step in bop evolution, if the word "bop" is even metaphysically relevant any longer.

Over the course of two-discs and 15 compositions, Moreno creates a tacit suite united by a forward-looking style that showcases is often shimmering, tactile drumming. Moreno starts each disc with Kenny Wheeler: the introspective then assertive "Foxy Trot" (a superb vehicle for Pilc) and the dramatic and paced "Three for D'reen." Save for an extended, molasses-slow consideration of Duke Ellington's "C Jam Blues," breathy and considerate, and a cheeky, high velocity "Grovelling" by Ron Horton, Moreno keeps the composing in the band. Moreno's balladic "Susan's Dream" and the outstanding cooker, "No Blues to You" demonstrate the drummer's alpha and omega. For those listeners wanting what passes for "straight-ahead jazz," Moreno's Short Stories offers many avenues of aural satisfaction.

Track Listing

CD1: Foxy Trot; Little One; The West’s Best; Erroll Garner; 55 Scotch; Susan’s Dream; No Blues to You; C Jam Blues. CD2: Three for D’reen; Oh Henry; Grovelling; El Rey; M.O. Pueblo De Lagrimas; El Rey #2.


Jean-Michel Pilc: piano; Ugonna Okegwo: bass; Tony Moreno: drums; Marc Mommaas: tenor saxophone; Ron Horton: trumpet.

Album information

Title: Short Stories | Year Released: 2016 | Record Label: Mayimba Music

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