Tony Monaco – Paesanos on the New B3

Tony Monaco
New Generation:
Paesanos on the New B3

(Summit – 2003)
by John Thompson

Dinner’s ready, I love you, your pay raise is approved, you’re loan is approved. Jazz music played on the Hammond B3 Organ. These are just some of the wonderful things in life that we love to hear. Welcome to “Paesanos On The New B3,” starring Tony Monaco and Joey DeFrancesco both playing the B3. This is some serious music with evidence of fun throughout. It’s rare that a recording is made with two B3’s performing simultaneously. A “battle” was recorded live in 1973 included B3 greats Jimmy McGriff and Richard “Groove” Holmes. Well, welcome to a new age, and what a treat it is for the listener. But wait, there’s more!! All six musicians are in the studio at the same time, co-staring Monaco’s sidemen, Robert Krout (G), Louis Tsamous (D), and DeFrancesco’s sidemen, Craig Ebner (G) and Byron Landham (D). Folks, this cd is loaded with blues and a culinary element: cooking.

As for distinction, Monaco’s band mates are heard out of the left chanel and Joey’s on the right, but both organists are matched pretty well. There is some jazzy 60’s-style finger poppin’ funk on two tunes (Pasta Faggioli, Mozzarella). When these guys play the blues, it lines up in the tradition of the earlier Jazz Eras, as on “Homily” and “Katarina’s Prayer.” Remember the roller skating rinks during the pre DJ era? Check out the sound on “Mona Lisa” and the boogie woogie Italian version of “Oh Marie.” You want your cooking cooked? You got it. Check out “Aglio e Olio” and my favorite, due to Francesco’s solo, “Flat Tire.” There is too much to enjoy. Sounds like 5 stars.