Reviewed by Kirpal Gordon (reprinted from Jazz Times) The killin’ist thing about Tony Adamo & the New York Crew is that everybody in the band, especially the dope rhyme sayer, has got big ears all the way back to New Orleans and ancient-forward into the ever-evolving Multi-New Thing. It’s big ears working together that’s keeping this CD in Jazzweek's Chart Top 200 List since its release, a totally unheard of phenomenon for jazz-spoken word collaborations.
Although singing the talents and wonders of the giants who make this music immortal is nothing new, Adamo and the New York Crew pour out on these eleven tracks joyous lagniappes of praise, the song-cup running over with each additional solo. It’s one thing to express an artful appreciation of the Jazz Messengers, for example, in a song, but it’s a whole other monster of tribute when the band rocks Blakey’s sound so righteously. Former Headhunter Mike Clark (drummer, co-writer and producer) swings beyond emulation into stratospheric celebration and the whole band follows as Adamo catalogues the great players who have graced the bandstand with Bu. Tony lays out, the alto sax and trumpet blend beautifully and piano, trumpet, sax all solo before he reappears and everyone trades eights.
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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?
For this album Tony and his Crew deliver what is essentially eleven short films, each one painting a stunningly visual portrait of a fascinating world and some of its most captivating and compelling denizens. Driven on a soundtrack of explosively spirited and utterly delightful music, the spectacularly imaginative screenplay is depicted through a prism that Tony Adamo calls Vocal/HipSpokenWord.
5 STARS/ IMPROVIJAZZATION
Tony & th’ players definitely know how to convey that PHONK & keep it from ever draggin’ ya’ down (no matter how blues it gets); my personal favorite, to be sure! Tony’s GOT that soul & ain’t afraid to pass it on to ya’…