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The Role of Guitar with the Organ Trio

Bob Bakert, Editor

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In this video interview, Jazz Guitar Today discusses the role of the guitar player with organist Tony Monaco.

Introduction from guitarist Howard Paul: Too many great B3 players and albums to even try to list.  I’m pretty straight ahead in my influences, and my taste have remained the same over the years.  I’ve had a chance to play with Tony Monaco, Doug Carne, Joey DeFrancesco, Pat Bianchi, Chuck Leavell, and back in my Atlantic City days with Count Lewis and Dan Fogel.  Some great regional players I work with today include Matthew Kaminsky and Scott Giddens.  Back in 2014, I released a CD with Tony Monaco called “New Adventures”.

Top names I’ve listened to extensively: Jimmy Smith, Jimmy McGriff, Charles Earland, Jack McDuff, Wild Bill Davis, Groove Holmes, Larry Young, Don Patterson, Trudy Pitts, Lonnie Smith, Joey DeFrancesco, Tony Monaco, Pat Bianchi, and Jared Gould.  Guitarists who have paired marvelously with many of these players include Wes Montgomery, Pat Martino, Kenny Burrell, Grant Green, George Benson, and more current players like Dave Stryker, Mark Whitfield, Peter Bernstein, Jimmy Bruno, Paul Bollenback, Rodney Jones, and young lions Dan Wilson. 

Favorites all time? Jimmy Smith/Wes Montgomery: The Dynamic Duo and Further Adventures of Jimmy and Wes. Also, maybe my all-time favorite orchestrations are from Bashin’: The Unpredictable Jimmy Smith 1962 arranged by the incomparable Oliver Nelson (a top 5 album for me). And my personal favorite B3 to share a stage with? Hands down, my friend Tony Monaco, who is the most dynamic and musical playing partner on the planet.

 Also, don’t miss the other B3 genres like soul-jazz, funk, acid jazz, R&B and straight blues organist!


Jazz Guitar Today’s editor Bob Bakert interviews Tony Monaco and discusses the role of the guitarist in the organ trio. Full Video Interview above.

Tony Monaco began his keyboard life at age eight, on the accordion. When he was twelve, his destiny as a jazz organist was sealed when he first heard Jimmy Smith. Tony now enjoys and concentrates in all his musical energies flourishing completely as he pursues his passions. 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”. 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 quickly become indispensable for any serious student of the organ. Tony continues his mission to raise awareness and appreciation of jazz organ and its importance in genres as diverse as traditional Gospel, RnB and Modern Jazz. 

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