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Fiery Blues

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Album Review

Tony Monaco, whose organ playing is similar to that of Jimmy Smith in the late '50s, performs nine diverse blues on this set plus Horace Silver's "The Preacher." Monaco has an enthusiastic and spirited style, one that is a constant joy to hear. Even with the program having nine straight blues, there is a surprising amount of variety due to the many tempos, moods and changes in instrumentation. Several different guitarists have their spots, tenor-saxophonist Gene Walker is on six numbers and Willie Pooch's three vocals are an asset. After "The Preacher" concludes, there is a "hidden track," "Takin' My Time Blues," that is repeated from the previous CD Intimately Live at the 501. All in all, this is an excellent outing easily recommended to fans of jazz organ and swinging soul-jazz.


Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Tony Monaco is a leader in a modest revival of the Hammond B3 organ in jazz. As he has been with so many fledgling jazz organists, Jimmy Smith played a significant role in attracting Monaco to jazz and retaining his interest in the music. Monaco was 12 years old when he first heard Smith and, as a 16th birthday present, got a phone call from the organ giant. The culmination of this association came when Smith invited the young performer to join him at Smith's club. Monaco has also been fortunate...
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Fiery Blues, Tony Monaco
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