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Tony Monaco: The Definition of Insanity


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: Tony Monaco: The Definition of Insanity
It is often said that adversity can make or break a person. In the case of Tony Monaco, his varied life struggles have always been the catalyst in helping to bear the fruits of his many musical successes. Perhaps a fairly recent recovery from a major blockage of his widowmaker artery is the most radical example of Monaco's propensity to make lemonade when given life's proverbial lemons. Coinciding with this life-changing event was the announcement from his wife Asako that the couple was expecting their first child. "I think music saved my life," says Tony. "I also think the energy of the conception of my son saved my life."

Looking back at the entire situation, Monaco classifies many of the events as simply a bit of insanity, thus the title of the disc at hand. Furthermore, the experience offered him a new outlook on his musical direction where he felt obligated to move past what he had accomplished previously. "When you do the same thing over and over again and expect the results to be different, that's insanity," he quips.

From Phish and Grateful Dead jams to a nostalgic Italian standard delivered in homage to his mother, Monaco sagaciously avoids the familiar and breaks new ground in the company of drum guru Tony McClung and guitarist extraordinaire Derek DiCenzo. The recent passing of Roy Hargrove also moved Tony to dedicate his heartfelt rendering of "Never Let Me Go" to the iconic trumpeter, the piece already made special thanks to the piano contributions of his wife Asako.

"With this project I wanted to present music that I love and do it in a way I love to do it without an agenda," Monaco explains. "I put my heart into it, a bit of creativity, and lots of hours behind the board. It was a lot of work, but I'm proud of myself." Judging by the final results, there's no vanity in Monaco's statement, just unpretentious delight in a job well done.

Liner Notes copyright © 2024 C. Andrew Hovan.

The Definition of Insanity can be purchased here.

C. Andrew Hovan Contact C. Andrew Hovan at All About Jazz.
An avid audiophile and music collector, Chris Hovan is a Cleveland-based writer / photographer / musician.

Track Listing

Cars Trucks Buses; Ceora; Root Down; Never Let Me Go; Quando Quando Quando; Non Ti Scordare Di Me; Awa Athar; Last Date; Truckin’; Triste; A Song for You.


Tony Monaco
organ, Hammond B3

Album information

Title: The Definition of Insanity | Year Released: 2019 | Record Label: Chicken Coup Records


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