JazzTimes - 12/03, p.106
"Everyone cooks expertly on this soulful trip home."
Full performer name: Tony Monaco Trio/Joey DeFrancesco Trio.
Personnel: Tony Monaco (organ, accordion); Joey DeFrancesco (trumpet, Hammond B-3 organ); Robert Kraut, Craig Ebner (guitar); Byron Landham, Louis Tsanmous (drums).
Recorded on December 18, 2002.
Personnel: Tony Monaco (accordion); Joey DeFrancesco (trumpet); Robert Kraut, Craig Ebner (guitar); Louis Tsamous, Byron Landham (drums).
Audio Mixer: Tony Monaco .
Liner Note Author: Pete Fallico.
Photographers: Liz Price; Joanne Fallico.
When Tony Monaco teamed up with fellow organist Joey DeFrancesco in late 2002 and recorded New Generation: Paesanos on the New B3, two-organ sessions were hardly unprecedented. In fact, DeFrancesco himself had teamed up with organist Jack McDuff in 1995, when they recorded It's About Time for Concord Jazz. The thing that makes this CD unusual is the fact that Monaco and DeFrancesco not only bring their organs to the session -- they also bring their regular working groups. Monaco's Ohio trio (which includes guitarist Robert Kraut and drummer Louis Tsamous) joins forces with DeFrancesco's Philly trio, which employs Craig Ebner on guitar and Byron Landham on drums -- and together, the two trios become a very cohesive sextet. Instead of simply having two organists joined by a drummer, a guitarist and perhaps some horn players -- which would be a more typical way to approach a two-organ date -- the organists benefit from two guitarists and two drummers. It's an unusual combination of instruments, but it's a successful one. The six musicians obviously have a lot of common ground, and they're very much in sync on groove-oriented Monaco tunes like "Katrina's Prayer" and "Pasta Faggioli" as well as a delightful performance of Eduardo DeCapua's "Oh Marie." Meanwhile, "Aglio e Olio" is the sort of ultra-fast, '50s-like bop tune that has more to do with showing off your chops than feeling or expression. But for the most part, New Generation grooves in a soulful, funky, earthy way. Things takes an unexpected turn on "Waltz of the Angels," which finds Monaco switching to accordion and showing his appreciation of traditional Italian music. But even on that charming piece, he still swings like a jazz improviser. All things considered, New Generation is a welcome addition to Monaco's catalog. ~ Alex Henderson