TONY MONACO is widely considered one of the most exciting, swinging, bluesy, and soulful musicians to ever play the Hammond B3 organ. His newest CD, THE DEFINITION OF INSANITY demonstrates why he stands shoulder to shoulder with the likes of Jimmy Smith, Jack McDuff, and Shirley Scott in the B3 firmament.
THE DEFINITION OF INSANITY is Monaco's eleventh CD as a leader. The project is a bit different than his other releases, which usually feature several of Monaco's own compositions. This time around, he decided to record an eclectic mix of well-known tunes by other composers that cross genres and continents. Besides playing the B3 on this album, Monaco also plays the accordion and piano as well as sings. Columbus, OH, is his home base, and he enlisted some of the area's finest musicians for the project, including guitarist DEREK DICENZO, who has toured and recorded with Monty Alexander for many years. Dicenzo has also recorded with jazz guitar legends Jim Hall and Charlie Byrd. Drummer TONY MCCLUNG is a mainstay on the Columbus music scene and often performs with Monaco there. Monaco's wife, pianist ASAKO MONACO, is also featured on one tune. Asako is an accomplished musician and instructor, and she can be heard on several of Monaco's releases.
Monaco is a jack-of-all-trades. Besides playing, arranging, and producing the album, he also recorded, mixed, and mastered it. He's particularly proud of the album's production values. He recorded it at a very high resolution to create its crystal-clear sound.
From rock to funk to bossa and a traditional Italian song and a song using a Turkish pop scale, THE DEFINITION OF INSANITY is a departure from Monaco's other projects. Although the songs are eclectic, and some have never been tackled by a jazz musician, what remains the same is Monaco's masterful bluesy, soulful playing that comes from straight from his heart.