Tony was raised in a musical family (his grandfather was the noted composer Leon René and his father the drummer Rick Jones), and the piano was his first instrument. He took on the drums in high school and is primarily known on that instrument. He has been a vocalist since his teens and has chosen to illustrate that skill on this CD. Tony is also a master of vocal impersonations. His Louis Satchmo Armstrong is well known and has a prominent place on this recording. Tony sings two of Leon's tunes: When It's Sleepytime Down South was Satchmo's theme song, and Mr. Satchmo is a tribute. Leon and Louis were friends who grew up in New Orleans at the same time. When Louis was just starting out, Leon played piano for the legendary trumpet player Buddy Petit.
Rounding out the CD are tunes that have been personal influences: River Man, Up From the Skies (arranged by Tony), Moondance, I Think It's Going To Rain Today, and Stella By Starlight (his dad's favorite). He uses these songs as templates for his own interpretations.
Some of L. A.'s best jazz musicians perform here with Tony: Larry Goldings - piano and organ, Larry Koonse - guitar, Bob Shepard - sax, Darek Oles - bass, Mark Ferber - drums, Bill Armstrong - trumpet, M. B. Gordy - congas and bongos, Harry Scorzo - string arrangements and violin, Calabria Foti - violin, Alan Mautner - cello, and guest vocalists Amy Englehardt (The Bobs) and Craig Copeland on Up From the Skies. David Arnay was my music supervisor and Rich Breen did a meticulous job engineering the project.