Tony Monaco Trio
Classic soul jazz organ action
This article is from 2007.
Ohio-born Hammond organ star Tony Monaco started out on accordion as a kid, but was converted to the B3 when a heard a Jimmy Smith album as a youngster. It sparked a passion that ultimately took him onto the international festival circuit, while his self-run record label, Chicken Coup, pays a sly tribute to Smith’s famous Back at the Chicken Shack album.
The switch to organ was precipitated by a nerve condition that made holding the accordion impossible, and he still has to deal with the legacy of the disease in his unusual playing position. It works for him, and enables him to continue to develop the lessons he learned from listening to Smith as a teenager, the most valuable of which was delivered directly when Smith told the 16-year-old acolyte ‘don’t worry ‘bout playing all them notes. You gotta learn to play the right chords first, then you’ll know how to play the right notes.’
Jazz Bar Jazz, 556 7800, 13–19 Aug, 11pm, £6.