Album Remarks & Appraisals:
All About Jazz - Hrayr Attarian
If organists Shirley Scott and Jimmy Smith had formed some sort of a musical union, the offspring would no doubt have been Tony Monaco. Manifesting the melodicism of the former, the orchestral sensibilities of the latter and virtuosity of both, Monaco has become one of the most versatile and dazzling performers on the Hammond B3.
The limited edition two-CD Celebration, on Monaco's own Chicken Coop label finds The organist in the company of various collaborators and in a number of different settings, ranging from sparse trio to jubilant choir of voices. It allows him to demonstrate his unique adroitness and talent in a number of styles and sub genres.
On the bossa nova, "Happy Sergio," his intensely melodic, clean and light organ is matched well with Ken Fowser's smooth, Latin sounding tenor saxophone, with just enough vibrato to keep things interesting. Meanwhile on the soul-jazz "Bull Years," Monaco's down-home greasy organ, fleshed out with complex arpeggios and self-accompanied walking bass lines, is met with Fowser's gritty, wailing tenor all over a bed of Jason Brown's propulsive drumming. ... read more...
Personnel: Tony Monaco (vocals, Hammond b-3 organ); Tuscia In Jazz Vocal Singers, Mary McClendon, Columbus Choir Singers, CFS Music Choir (vocals); Derek DiCenzo, Ted Quinian, Bruce Foreman, Robert Kraut (guitar); Ken Fowser, Donny McCaslin (saxophone); Kenny Rampton (trumpet); Sarah Morrow (trombone); Asako Itoh (piano); Joey DeFrancesco (organ); Reggie Jackson, Adam Nussbaum, Vito Rezza, Louis Tsamous, Byron Landham (drums).
Recording information: Columbus Sound Studios.
Photographers: Mark Sheldon ; Steve Kyser.