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Intimately Live At The 501 by Tony Monaco

A Hammond B-3 organ-guitar-drums trio. No surprises. You know what you’re gonna get, like when you order a cheeseburger. It’s either going to be tasty or nothing special. Tony Monaco’s cheeseburger is pretty satisfying.

An unabashed disciple of Jimmy Smith, Monaco leads off this well-recorded live set with two songs Smith made famous (in certain circles), Lalo Schifrin’s "The Cat," and throws in Dodo Marmarosa’s "Mellow Mood" a couple of tunes later. The trio gets greasy on Monaco’s "Takin’ My Time," an aptly-titled slow blues. Guitarist Robert Kraut displays a fondness for staccato lines, singing vibrato, and vocabulary that pays homage to pickers such as Melvin Sparks, Boogaloo Joe Jones, and Chicago electric bluesmen. Drummer Louis Tsamous can lay down a heavy grooving backbeat or ride cymbal whispers, whichever the moment requires. Plenty of standards are included on this fun live set, including "It’s Only a Paper Moon," a burning "Sweet Georgia Brown," and Wayne Shorter’s "Footprints," a song not often heard in a funky organ trio setting.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Tony Monaco
  • CD Title: Intimately Live At The 501
  • Genre: Straight-Ahead / Classic
  • Year Released: 2002
  • Record Label: Summit
  • Tracks: The Cat, Takin’ My Time, Mellow Mood, Take The Coltrane, I Can’t Give You Anything But Love, Paper Moon, I’ll Close My Eyes, Sweet Georgia Brown, Footprints
  • Musicians: Tony Monaco (Hammond B-3 organ); Robert Kraut (guitar); Louis Tsamous (drums)
  • Rating: Three Stars
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