Over and Over – Tony Monaco Trio

Over and Over – Tony Monaco Trio

Label: Chicken Coup

Release date: March '24

Catalog number: C7030


Da Daddy
comp: Tony Monaco
One For Pat (Martino)
comp: Tony Monaco
My Lil' Rosie Girl
comp: Tony Monaco
Over and Over (I Want You)
comp: Tony Monaco
Ready Set Go
comp: Tony Monaco
comp: Tony Monaco
comp: Tony Monaco


“One of the most exciting Hammond B3 players today is Tony Monaco. He knows how to shake up the funk and turn it loose. He also brings enormous energy to his playing style, pouring it generously into the keyboard and pedals. And it’s no wonder, since he was mentored by the incomparable Jimmy Smith. “Over and Over” (Chicken Coup), his new one released this week, is his finest album to date. Every single track is electrifying and will set your legs and hands moving. At least that’s what happened to me each time I gave a listen over the past few weeks. The rest of the group is spectacular—guitarist Zakk Jones, who has an early-1970s soul-funk flavor, and drummer Reggie Jackson, who knows how to snap the snare and kick the bass. What a dream trio. “

-Marc Myers for JazzWax



“With Over and Over, the Columbus, Ohio-based Monaco demonstrates that he is still a stone cooker. And, with seven original tracks on this album, his playing and compositional skills continue to inspire and impress. As a composer, Monaco demonstrates that he can offer melodies which grab, and his charts offer platforms for extended solos. His interaction with his trio mates is excellent. Over and Over is a fun album which impresses and cooks. The dessert is in the replays.”
-Nicholas Mondello for All About Jazz

Tony Monaco‘s latest album Over and Over is a journey into the world of jazz funk propelled by the timeless Hammond B-3 organ. With Monaco at the helm and accompanied by guitarist Zakk Jones and drummer Reggie Jackson, this trio embarks on a program of seven Monaco originals that are both compelling and undeniably funky.

Monaco’s approach to his compositions can be exemplified by the opening track “Da Daddy.” This well-formulated and realized chart smokes along as Monaco’s fingers caper over the keys as the well-disguised contrafact of Stanley Turrentine‘s “Sugar” plays hide and seek with the listener. Guitarist Pat Martino and Monaco worked together for several years hence the tune “One For Pat” is dedicated to him. Not surprisingly then, the spotlight is on guitarist Jones as he darts and dashes over the fretboard. Monaco joins the fray with a full-bodied workout on the B-3 with a boisterous bluesy solo.

From the outset Monaco’s style is evident as he weaves intricate melodies and soulful grooves both of which are on display in the title track “Over and Over (I Want You).” As an astute pupil of funk, Monaco leads the trio with his great touch and propulsive exposition. Guitarist Jones demonstrates that he is an inveterate searcher of expressive notes, while drummer Jackson confirms he is a percussive sound architect. Monaco was just twelve years old when first he heard Jimmy Smith and became smitten with his music. Later as he progressed in music, he caught the attention of Smith who subsequently became his teacher and mentor. The number “Ready Set Go” was inspired by Smith, and it shows his influence. Monaco sets up the number with a punchy sound and long fast-moving bebop lines. In addition, Jones and Jackson are given space to trade eights to great effect.

The closing track “Uprooted” is informed by Jimmy Smith’s imprint on Monaco’s approach to funk-rock. As one of Smith’s true acolytes, Monaco can seamlessly blend those elements into a sonic tapestry as he coaxes out the resonant tones on the B-3. Overall, this release is both captivating as it is exhilarating.

-Pierre Giroux for All About Jazz

Tony Monaco – B3 Hammond OrganZakk Jones – GuitarReggie Jackson – Drums

Monaco is back! Better than ever!


—-from the notes:

The Jazz Organ tradition is in good hands and Tony Monaco makes sure of that.

He knows this music from the ground up and there’s never any hesitating in the flow of his ideas or the motor memory skills between his brain and his fingers.  Tony is pure energy when he sits at the Hammond organ console with its spinning Leslie tone cabinet.  He is ‘in the moment’ from start to finish.

Coming up in his father’s restaurant where he and his brother and sister entertained patrons night after night in its lounge, Tony learned the fundamentals of performing music and captivating the attention of an audience.  This was to be his niche in life.  Never mind that he also became a successful businessman, his true love was to evolve as an entertainer and create music that excited people.  Ultimately, the thrill he derived from music would supplant the lure of the business world.  This became obvious to those around him during the rise in Jazz Organ popularity spurred by young Joey DeFrancesco.  Tony came to the realization that incorporating his business skills with his musical talent would serve him well in a world where musicians were often naïve about how to move their music forward.  Tony knew the answer…

Growing up in Columbus, Ohio only strengthened Tony’s commitment to Jazz Organ and his ability to make this music accessible to the common person.  With predecessors like Hank Marr, Don Patterson and many others from Columbus, Tony took-up the banner and waved it high.  He began to record his music and eventually formed his own subsidiary label under Summit Records.  Chicken Coup Records now holds a significant catalog which has furthered not only Tony’s career but numerous others on the path to notoriety.

Once again, Tony demonstrates how Jazz Organ is the ‘people’s music’.

His readily identifiable sound is heard in all of the seven tracks but surely draws us in from the outset with, ‘Da Daddy’,where Tony launches a well-conceived and executed burner…

His ‘My Lil’ Rosie Girl’ places us back in the lounge environment with its charm and coziness (what a delightful tune!)…

All the components of traditional Jazz Organ are inherent is Tony’s playing.  With his nod to guitarist, Pat Martino (‘One for Pat’), he lets it all hang out:  shuffling us home but not before taking the reins and giving us a raucous yet bluesy solo…

Popular music has also been a condiment used in Tony’s recipes for groove.

‘Over and Over (I Want You)’ gives us that feel with his inventive comping and space provided to the soloists. A final drum ride takes us out…

If Tony knows anything, he knows which side of his bread is buttered.

That is to say that he knows ‘his sound’ and the wheelhouse in which he works; Tony stays close to the groove that he established many years ago.  He builds tension as he solos, working through his strengths and leaving the unknown alone…

‘Ready Set Go’ doesn’t stray far from this comfort zone either as Tony uses trademark organ-antics to deliver the goods and encourage people to clap their hands…

Anyone who has studied Tony’s repertoire over the years knows that he loves standards and pays homage in more ways than one.  In ‘Sailboat’, we hear his feet firmly planted in this tradition.  Rather than sounding dated, Tony’s renditions are fresh and present giving his over-all sound a familiarity that brings his listeners closer to the bandstand.  It’s like holiday music without having to be a holiday!…

Tony’s music always leaves you with a memorable melody or phrase.

There’s something about his melodic style that stays with you long after the music stops.  Then, there’s the funky side to Tony Monaco which is how he leaves us in the final track, ‘UpRooted’.  Here’s where Tony borrows the ‘feel’ that was so deeply ingrained in him from his early days of hearing Jazz Organ.  Tony is a true disciple of the legend known as Jimmy Smith and it’s evident in his performance here…

Make no mistake about it, Tony Monaco knows what the people like and what they continually flock to Jazz Organ shows to hear.

-Pete Fallico, KCSM FM91 ‘The Bay Area’s Jazz Station’