""In 2016, where an always-connected generation screams for attention through new, often contrived definitions of “cool” and surprisingly predictable proclamations of uniqueness, singer and spoken word artist Tony Adamo arrives seemingly from nowhere as a true anachronism: a performer who is authentically “cool” in a timeless, almost reckless way that almost no popular artist today can match.
Adamo harkens back to a day that, for most modern listeners, never was: a time in the 50s and 60s when a small but influential cast of artists in jazz, poetry and movies oozed a dangerous, irresistible force that men admired and women wanted. The Rat Pack sort of had it, but for each Sinatra or Martin, there were hundreds of underground artists who lived more dangerously and closer to their creative edge. With jazz as the centerpiece, Adamo effortlessly visits this universe (“Just ride your thought on that groove…are you with me?”) where performers are “cats” that their fans “dig” or even “double dig”; where hipster artists “swing” with the beat, and music is a near religious experience for those immersed naturally or through chemical enhancements.

It is into this utopian musical world that listeners are delivered on Tony Adamo and the New York Crew, the newest and most eclectically joyous release from an artist who is unapologetically beyond time. Using a style he calls Vocal/HipSpokenWord, Adamo creates an eleven chapter visit to a New York that only ever existed for a few, but is so clear in its painting that the listener pines for it.

The album is part history lesson through the classic jazz era, with Adamo eschewing the usual subjects, instead delivering spoken homages to lesser known, influential artists like Eddie Harris (“Listen Here Listen Up”), General T Womack (“General T”), and trumpeter Eddie Gale (Gale Flying High”). There is even wishful, created history, as Adamo tells the jazzy tale of artist Pablo Picasso’s fictional nightlife as an anonymous, hip trumpeter (“Picasso at Midnite”).

The album is rarely heavy, but Adamo lightens it further in spots, paying a fun, instrumental tribute to 40s swing in “To Bop or Not to Bop,” and moving from history teacher to wise, playful older brother, singing instruction to a young man on the hip life on “You Gotta Be Fly.”

The band is 100% on point throughout the disc, and Adamo gives them room to breathe. Whether or not Tony Adamo’s poetry hits you right, it is impossible to deny the irresistible sound of The New York Crew, a band led by producer and drummer Mike Clark, pianist Michael Wolff and trumpeter Tim Ouimette, all returning from Adamo’s Miles of Blu album. But, like Kirk Franklin in front of a Gospel choir, without playing a note, Adamo keep's the listener’s rapt attention, preaching, teaching, cajoling and tempting with a brand of poetry will hit dead home for listeners open to its unusual message and cadence.

Tony Adamo and the New York Crew will undoubtedly stretch the taste of listeners more accustomed to the narrow formulas of modern music – especially modern radio. But for those willing to be pulled in unusual, sometimes unexpected directions lyrically and musically, it is an eclectic, left field find that you won’t easily forget, and that you may just come to cherish.""Highly Recommended.


Sonic Henderson
About Joe Henderson


Nu Jazz
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Gale Blowin High
Song About Eddie Gale


Nu Jazz
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Chandra Moon

6/11/2016 5:45:29 AM
Great stuff - welcome x



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Tony Adamo 5 STARS/ALLABOUTJAZZ "Tony Adamo and the New York Crew is a romp—a fascinating and swinging vision seen through the hippest and most talented of Ray-Bans. Double dig?" 5 STARS/AMAZON "For this album Tony and his Crew deliver what is essentially eleven sh
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Nicholas F. Mondello By NICHOLAS F. MONDELLO

Published: April 4, 2015

Views: 6,315

Tony Adamo: Tony Adamo & The New York Crew

Some wit once quipped that when you go to Heaven, you hear the voice of God—who is actually imitating the late, great ""movie trailer guy,"" Don LaFontaine. If that's so, for those jazzers entering the Heavenly corner reserved for bereted hipsters and late-night flipsters, Big G must assuredly be trying to cop Tony Adamo.

Now let's get this out at Bar One: Adamo, like Beluga caviar, is indeed and in deed an acquired taste. The prophet and proponent of ""hipspokenword,"" his is a unique oral gumbo of supremely involving lyric, funky jazz talk, historical tilt, cultural commentary, and no-jive lingo. And on this effort, it is all infectiously served up over a bed of meticulously played white-hot jazz.

With Tony Adamo and the New York Crew, Adamo and his mates follow up his terrific Miles of Blu (2013, Random Act Records) and take things to an even hipper, higher performance level. This gang soars brilliantly across eleven selections that offer this rhapsode's poignant urban-hip Apple-jacked-up spoke-sung stuff, backed by a killer quintet. This is high-energy fruit that kicks tail right off with Adamo riffing on free jazz stalwart, Eddie Gale (""Gale Blowin High""). And, the intensity doesn't ever let up for ten more tracks, yo.

As hip and talented as Adamo is, the supporting ensemble is as muscular and swinging as its leader. Drummer Mike Clark, he of Headhunters fame, pushes this group rhythmically to extremes. Pianist Michael Wolff stretches out neatly at every corner and bassist Richie Goods drives things like a mad trainman. The front line horns of saxophonist Donald Harrison and trumpeter Tim Ouimette (who wrote the music and horn charts) are as swinging, funky and free as the Big Apple itself (""Buddhist Blues"" ""To Bop or Not to Be""). They cook hotter and with more intensity than a roomful of Cul-school white hats.

Adamo's ""hipspokenword"" street-seasoned lyrics and jazzman salutes emanate from his ballsy baritone and his hard, hard swing is narco-addictive (""Mama's Meat Pies"" ""Wisdom of Oz""). There's power and truth being dealt when this cat lets fur fly (""Picasso at Midnite,"" here told over Ouimette's solid free cries and Clark's fireworks). The addition of Eddie Harris's ""Listen Here"" complete with Harrison's blow and Adamo's vocal lines and the Art Blakey acknowledgement, ""Messengers Burnin,' would have a subway rodent grab his lid, come up and see the light and head non-stop to catch the late show at the Blue Note.

Tony Adamo and the New York Crew is a romp—a fascinating and swinging vision seen through the hippest and most talented of Ray-Bans. Double dig?

Track Listing: Gale Blowin High; City Swings, Buddhist Blues; You Gotta B Fly; Mama's Meat Pies; To Bop or Not to Be; Picasso at Midnite; Wisdom of Oz; Listen Here Listen Up; General T; Messengers Burnin
10/17/2016 2:22:05 PM
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