The Definition of Insanity
Tony Monaco- Hammond B3, piano, accordion and voice
Chicken Coop Records—Release date January 18, 2019
Monaco, a Hammond B3 artist, has done it again. With his usual small-group format, which includes guitarist Derek Decenzo, and drummer Tony McClung, he also uses his wife Asake Monaco on piano on a single number, Never Let Me Go.
Monaco is a personal favorite and he earned more converts when he was a featured soloist with his trio at a Pensacola JazzFest in the early 2000s.
The selection of 11 tunes is eclectic. Cars, Trucks and Buses, by keyboardist Page McConnell, is the opener on the CD. Jimmy Smith’s “Root Down” is executed more or less faithfully to the Smith version except that Smith used a bass player whereas Monaco plays the bass part with left hand. Never Let Me Go is a lovely ballad by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans and features Monaco also on vocals and his wife Asake on piano.
Monaco’s only original tune, Awar Athar has a Middle Eastern flavor and uses the Turkish scale, which he learned from one of his Turkish students. He sings in Italian and also plays accordion on Non Ti Scordare Di Me a traditional Neapolitan song. Monaco’s rendition of Floyd Cramer’s big hit, Last Date is also memorable. His finale, A Song for You, Leon Russell’s composition, which has been frequently recorded by many artists, is rendered as a vocal as well as keyboard piece.
This CD was a joy to hear and to review. It will be placed in the Jazz Room of the West Florida Public Library for patrons to check out and enjoy as well.