The success and acclaim that Tony has received has indeed been incredible. Comparisons to the masters" have left Tony holding the jazz organ torch. Fan support has also been incredibly responsive and was the motivation for this CD - To hear Tony live is a memory. This is an audio snapshot of that memory...but the amazing thing is his story...:
When Tony was 15, he developed neuralgic amyotrophy (a disease closely related to polio) in his shoulders, inspiring him to switch to organ. The disease had destroyed many of the nerves in his shoulders; he was barely able to lift his arms. In essence, he had to learn how to play all over. Although Tony would rather not discuss the disease, the fact remains that his story of recovery and mastery is an amazing one! At one point, the disease came back and destroyed nerves in his ankles, forearms and a major nerve to his left vocal chord. He was even unable to talk for a period of time. A truly fascinating story from an incredible human being.
Jazz organ is to me, a life long study," passions Tony. I have spent my life thus far learning how to play jazz organ." Tony Monaco's goal is to build upon, bring awareness, and carry the jazz organ styles from traditions set by the great organ masters of the past to the organ masters of the future.
Tony brings in his trio with mainstay, top-flight drummer, Louis Tsamous, and long-time friend, Robert Kraut, who has been compared to Wes Montgomery. Not only is the trio playing originals and other tunes like fire these days, but they seem to be re-capturing the intensity of the early Jimmy Smith recordings. That is why this recording is dedicated to Jimmy Smith.
In addition to the Jimmy Smith covers, Tony recorded Take The Coltrane" for his friend Joey DeFrancesco, not to copy him, but rather to thank him for helping his career (Joey produced Tony's first CD, Burnin' Grooves" [Summit 304]). The bonus" track is Monaco's organ rendition of Wayne Shorter's Footprints" (something new from something old) - the first time done on jazz organ.
Summit Records can be found on the world-wide web at http://www.summitrecords.com and is distributed exclusively in the United States and Canada by the Allegro Corporation.
Tony Monaco website: http://www.b3monaco.com.