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Scott Yanow Reviews Tony Adamo For The L.A. Jazz Scene

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His lyrics and narratives are intelligent, his approach and language are connected to the hipsters of the 1950s.
Scott Yanow Reviews Tony Adamo For The L.A Jazz Scene
Published: January 01, 2018

A fine singer, Tony Adamo is also a master at what he calls “hipspokenword." He enjoys interacting with major jazz musicians while telling stories having to do with the music and life in general. His lyrics and narratives are intelligent, his approach and language are connected to the hipsters of the 1950s, and he fits into both the beatnik tradition and the pioneers of “word jazz" while displaying his own hip personality.

On his fifth release, The New York Crew, Adamo gathered together an all-star group. Altoist Donald Harrison, trumpeter Tim Ouimette, pianist Michael Wolff, bassist Richie Goods, drummer Mike Clark (who also produced the recording), and percussionist Bill Summers are on many of the selections with drummer Lenny White and guitarist Jean C. Santalis guesting on one song apiece. Unlike most other “jazz and poetry" recordings, this project has Tony Adamo taking his turn taking “solos" with his sidemen who have plenty of opportunities to stretch out. Adamo may be the main star but he does not dominate the performances. Throughout the set, Harrison, Ouimette and Wolff are in top form during their many solos while the rhythm section is tight and swinging.

Among the subjects that Adamo discusses are the obscure but talented trumpeter Eddie Gale ("Gale Blowing High"), New York City ("City Swings") and Eddie Harris ("Listen Here Listen Up"). He talks about changing oneself during “Buddhist Blues," swings on an up-tempo blues ("Mama's Meat Pies") and creates a fantasy about Picasso playing trumpet in his off hours ("Picasso At Midnite"). A brief instrumental ("To Bop Or Not To Be") has the trio of alto, trumpet, and drums paying homage to Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie and Max Roach.

This unusual but satisfying set is Tony Adamo's most rewarding recording so far.

This story appears courtesy of Jim Eigo, Jazz Promo Services.
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