At the 501

Summit Records
DCD 341

$15.00 (with S&H inside US) - $20.00 (with S&H outside US)


This recording was meant to be a band experiment of recording ourselves so we could listen to ourselves in order to grow. I've always dabbled in recording as it is another one of my passions. I had (a now antiquated) 6 channel, 16 bit hard drive based digital recorder that I hooked up at a memorial weekend gig at our local (now closed) jazz club. When telling Darby at Summit records about the recording he wanted me to send a copy. He liked the recording so much he insisted it be a release. This CD actually has its own fan base. It captures a more raw organ recording as it is played live with an intimate audience. Jazz organ trios are always a fine up close and personal concert to attend. This CD definitely gives you that live and up close feel. Some of my fans and reviewers really like the sound and the uncut rawness, I have to agree that this recording is exciting and raw for sure!

Tony Monaco, Organ
Robert Kraut, Guitar
Louis Tsamous, Drums
(Recorded live at the 501 on May 26, 2002)


1. The Cat
2. Takin' My Time (Monaco)
3. Mellow Mood
4. Take The Coltrane
5. I Can't Give You Anything But Love
6. It's Only A Paper Moon
7. I'll Close My Eyes
8. Sweet Georgia Brown
9. Footprints - (bonus track)
* Download bonus tracks: The Best Things in Life are Free and Clockwise
Listen to Excerpts

Time to apply the fiery adjectives: This album's hot, and Monaco's trio smokes. Originally inspired by Jimmy Smith, Monaco explodes in a climactic style. Exuberance, skillful dynamics and galvanic solo construction are this organ trio's assets.
Monaco, 42, took up the Hammond B-3 at 16 after initially playing the accordion. Eight years ago his trio with guitarist Robert Kraut and drummer Louis Tsamous came together. This recording documents the group on the 2002 Memorial Day weekend. The trio pounces on Lalo Schifrin's "The Cat" (the title tune from Smith's 1964 Verve album) for the opener. Monaco's "Takin' My Time," a slow blues, follows. In each, the organist borrows Smith's sustained-note routine as guitar and drums cook deliciously underneath. Coming out of it on the slow blues, he goes into a powerful locked-hands climax.
Duke Ellington's "Take the Coltrane" and Wayne Shorter's "Footprints," two modern tunes, expand the organist's harmonic horizons colorfully. Kraut makes sequential connections as he constructs his solo during the former. Tsamous builds a crisp solo on the latter. "I'll Close My Eyes," a ballad standard, is all late-night seduction in the group's hands. "Sweet Georgia Brown" and "I Can't Give You Anything but Love" swing as smoothly as Basie.
Monaco and company are a welcome addition to the jazz-organ fraternity. Even with his obvious and admitted admiration for Smith, Monaco has plenty of soul to call his own.
JazzTimes - by Owen Cordle