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Just look at what God can do with a Spirit-filled song and dance man whose seventy-plus year career in show business includes seven Broadway shows, three star-studded motion pictures and guest starring roles in dozens of TV shows from Route 66 to Michael Landon's Highway To Heaven!

Tony Monaco has recorded ten albums on the Jazz for Jesus record label. With a refreshing and blessed 'croon' that's a blend of Sinatra, Bennett, Crosby and Bublé, a vocal range described as  remarkable, and compositions clearly influenced by the Gospel, Tony Monaco is pure Jazz...for Jesus!

The Jazz Sounds of Salvation started in the late ‘70s with friend and legendary Jazz bassist Arnold Fishkind (Charlie Parker, Stan Getz, Les Brown, Benny Goodman, Ella Fitzgerald, Charlie Barnet, Dean Martin, Bob Hope), who introduced Tony to pianist and arranger Bobby Corwin at The Vineyard Christian Fellowship where Corwin was working with Contemporary Christian singer/songwriter Keith Green. Arnold, Bobby and Tony had just come to know the Lord in a personal, powerful, and non-religious way.

With his new faith in Jesus Christ and a determination to live by the word of God, Tony founded the Jazz for Jesus record label as an outlet to make available the flood of songs that were coming into his mind. But lacking understanding of the written language of music despite his previous success on Broadway, Tony didn’t know what to do with “So Many Songs About Jesus,” the title of one of his songs. Bobby Corwin has been musical accompanist for some of the most well known singers, among them Peggy Lee and Anita O'Day. His relationship with his famous songwriting father-in-law, Johnny Mercer, where he notated the music that Johnny composed, prepared him for his twenty-plus-year association with Tony.

Miracles? For Tony, meeting Arnold and Bobby was one of them.

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Album Cover
Jesus, My Friend
Tony M and The Jazz Sounds of Salvation (1993)

This is the first album from Jazz crooner Tony Monaco, (a.k.a. world-renowned Broadway song and dance man Tommy Morton). Following his colossal career on Broadway and in film and television, Tony Monaco found himself dancing on Hollywood street corners with Reverend Glenn Adkins singing “Walkin’ In The Light,” Tony’s composition that shepherded the completion of 9 more original songs for the album.

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Album Cover
Let Me Love You
Tony M and The Jazz Sounds of Salvation (1995)

This is the second recording from crooner Tony Monaco, and was inspired by his first trip to Jerusalem – the Holy Land. With 12 new original songs, including “I’m So Honored…(to be sitting with you, Lord, here at your table),” Monaco’s inspired and passionate songwriting unites with straight-ahead Jazz arrangements, delivering them via his refreshing Jazz croon that crosses over and triumphs in a musical format otherwise restricted to mainstream audiences.

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Album 7
I Saw A Miracle
Tony M and The Jazz Sounds of Salvation (1997)

“I Saw A Miracle” is the third album recorded by this group of musicians that met quite miraculously twenty years earlier. Monaco originally penned the title song, “I Saw A Miracle,” for his one-man musical about the life of Saul & Paul, The Road to Damascus.

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Album 6
Goin' to Lunch to Talk About Dinner
Tony M and The Jazz Sounds of Salvation (1998)

“Goin’ to Lunch to Talk About Dinner” is inspired by the “call” used by Tony’s Auntie Jan to get the Monaco clan moving at a family reunion in Boerne, TX on Thanksgiving Day, 1997. Tony completed the song on their way to the restaurant.

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Slideshow 1
Thank God for Jazz
Tony Monaco (2001)

In “Thank God for Jazz” the Manhattan native remembers frequent childhood visits to Harlem’s Apollo Theater, tagging along with his dad, Tom Morton, who managed Jazz orchestras like Cab Calloway and Lucky Millender. One encounter that influenced Tony’s music included sitting on Fats Waller’s lap while he played piano and sang “Honeysuckle Rose.”

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Album 7
If You Were God
Tony Monaco (2001)

“If You Were God” came about from hearing so many people complain about everything from the weather to what was happening in their life, as well as Tony Monaco’s own questions. Recorded in October of 2001 just weeks after the 9/11 attacks, the project took on new meaning as the musicians assembled with heavy hearts to present what had been inspired. “A World of Peace, A World of Love,” written years earlier by Tony’s arranger, Keith Droste, cried out for this time.

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Slideshow 1
Egg Nog, Mistletoe, Sugarplum Fairies In A Row
Tony Monaco (2005)

In a way that Sinatra, Bennett or Andy Williams would sing it, the title track to the Jazz crooner’s first yuletide offering is a novelty Christmas song that will have your youngster singing along with parents and friends. Based on the concept of “Happy Birthday, Jesus,” this album presents a wonderful gift of love, hope and happiness for the holidays and throughout the year!

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Album 5
What If You Saw
Tony M and The Jazz Sounds of Salvation (2006)

“What If You Saw?” is inspired by the Caravaggio painting on the album cover…Jesus taking the hand of Thomas and placing it in the wound on His right side. Would you ever stop talking about it?

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Slideshow 1
If God Could Love Me
Tony M and The Jazz Sounds of Salvation (2008)

“If God Could Love Me” was written to encourage anyone who would listen, to trust the Lord with their life. Cried out Rabbi Saul of Tarsus who became Saint Paul, “Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from the body of this death?”

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Slideshow 1
It's All About You
Tony M and The Jazz Sounds of Salvation (2010)

Blessed with the late-evening croon of Frank Sinatra and the booming baritone of Bing Crosby, “It’s All About You” defies expectations and the clichés that have dulled the freshness of vocal jazz for decades. Tony Monaco’s compositions are clearly influenced by the Gospel, their delivery is pure Jazz, and his vocal range is remarkable!

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READ THE JAZZTIMES REVIEW

 

© 2014 Tony Monaco. All Rights Reserved.
All Music © Songs From The Lord Publishing, (BMI) Except As Noted
Designed by: PETER F. MULLER
Compiled and Edited by: DANA McELWAIN Photo Archivist: DAVID THEBERGE