The Howard Paul Trio & Tony Monaco
Tony Monaco may be the best organ player you have yet to hear of flying stealth while playing arguably some of the hottest B-3 around. Mentored by the legendary Jimmy Smith in what is considered the more classic style, Monaco does not swing, smolder or smoke. “Tony Monaco burns is this most fitting!” CriticalJazz Review2012. Tony Monaco began his keyboard life at age eight. When he was twelve, his destiny as a jazz organist was sealed when he first heard Jimmy Smith. An enthusiastic student, Tony began working in Jazz clubs as a teenager in his native Columbus, Ohio, guided by local organ gurus Hank Marr and Don Patterson. Four years later, Jimmy Smith invited Tony to come play at his club in California, a peak lifetime experience for Tony. In April 2000, Tony met fellow jazz organist Joey DeFrancesco, who offered to produce a debut CD for him. This collaboration resulted in the critically acclaimed “Burnin Grooves”. The international success of the recording served as the catalyst for regional and national tours. Tony has since released 8 International releases and toured around the globe many times. Tony also toured and recorded with Pat Martino for over two years! As an ardent student of the organ, it’s no surprise that Tony is an accomplished teacher as well. In addition to private students, classes and clinics, Tony has produced a series of instructional DVDs titled “Playing Jazz Hammond” that have become indispensable for many serious students of the organ. Tony continues to expand his catalogue and has created MotherHenMusicEd.com. He developed a system of giving lessons one on one online and gives lessons to students around the globe! Presently, Tony maintains a very busy schedule that includes festival appearances , clinics, and workshops !
Howard Paul leads a busy life as President of Benedetto Guitars and as a professional guitarist. In Savannah he oversees the factory, and performs at regional jazz clubs and festivals. He’s a recurring member of The Tony Monaco Trio, The Lenore Raphael Trio, and The Savannah Jazz Orchestra. He also performed extensively in a duo with pianist Bob James, and for more than twenty years with bassist Ben Tucker. Howard has worked with Howard Alden, Bucky Pizzarelli, Andreas Oberg, Jimmy Bruno, and many more. He is chairman of the Savannah Jazz Festival, and a 2011 inductee in the Coastal Jazz Hall of Fame. His most recent CDs include “Tony Monaco/Howard Paul: New Adventures,” “Bob James & Howard Paul: Just Friends: The Hamilton Hall Session released in 2011,” and Ali Ryerson: Jammin’ At The Jazz Corner” are available on iTunes and other media outlets.
When Doug Payne of Sound Insights reviewed Bob James & Howard Paul’s album “Just Friends: The Hamilton Hall Sessions 2011,” he had this to say:
Guitarist Howard Paul seems to call up a host of influences, mixing a style that recalls the not-too-distant past of Jim Hall and Kenny Burrell (and sometimes Wes Montgomery) marked up with a refreshing twist of contemporary modernity that merely suggests Pat Metheny. If rock and R&B or any of its storied guitarists have ever influenced Howard Paul, he surely doesn’t reveal it in his playing. But that’s not to say he’s old fashioned. Paul is driven by the melody and he’s as much a catalyst for James as he is someone who knows how to charm with guile when it’s his turn in the spotlight – a glow that would be set on the moodiest setting available.