Tony Adamo: And The New York Crew
by George W. Harris • • 0 CommentsThere’s a lot to love about vocalist Tony Adamo. First, he LOVES jazz. Second, he REALLY LOVES jazz, and it comes out on every song on every album. He’s got a voice that is what Tom Waits would dream of if he were a bopper; sort of a muscular Mark Murphy with a sense of street corner smarts. He doesn’t title his material as singing as much as his self-described “Vocal Hipspokenword” but if you’ve ever heard R&B jiver Louis Jordan you kind of get the picture. He tells stories of the Waits vernacular, but with a finger snapping team that includes all stars like producer and drummer Mike Clark, Lenny White/dr, Donald Harrison/as, Tim Ouimette/tp, Richie Goods/b, Michael Wolff/p and Bill Summers/perc.
Some of the tunes have a vintage Tower of Power mixed with CTI soul feel as on the funky “Gale Blowin’ High” while Adamo sounds like your hip uncle on some free form association in the trio of drummer Mike Clark, Ouimette and Adamo on “Picasso At Midnight.” The band gets churchy on the pass-the-collection-plate gospel by Eddie Harris on “Listen Here Listen Up.” Straightahead bop is delivered on a blue plate special by Harrison on “Mama’s Meat Pies” and the snappingest hard bop sizzles on “Messengers Burnin’.” Through it all, Adamo sounds like a jazz version of a street corner evangelist, spreading his message of dotted quarter notes and flatted fifths via some clever stories and sermonettes. He makes being cool fun again. Gotta love him!
Urban Zone Records