Born in Manhattan, Tony Moreno, was raised by his mother, Nina Dunkel Moreno, who was considered one of the great American harpists of her day, as well as an accomplished pianist, musicologist and teacher. His early upbringing proved a perfect backdrop to pursue a career in music. By the age of three, Moreno began playing the piano. By the age of ten, he received his first drum set from Elvin Jones.
Jones became Moreno’s early mentor and teacher. In later years, other teachers included Art Blakey, Al “Tootie” Heath, James Priess, Freddie Waits and Bob Moses.
When Hurricane Sandy hit the East Coast shore in 2012, Moreno lost his entire musical life – his instruments, possessions, the library of his compositions and treasured, archival possessions bequeathed from his mother.
“After Hurricane Sandy destroyed my studio, I was offered a monthly residency at The 55 Bar for the Quintet,” says Moreno. “This record is a way of expressing my gratitude for the outstanding support and love I received within the music community – from colleagues, organizations and fans alike.”
“The band is made up of artistic companions who have performed together over four years,” the drummer explains. “Since I lost my drum set, I purchased a small keyboard and began composing again. It was, of course, cathartic. It was time to document the group. We had enough music for two CDs. I had to clean the slate and move on.”
This record, featuring Marc Mommaas, Ron Horton, Jean-Michel Pilc and Ugonna Okegwo, represents the rebuilding process of Tony Moreno’s shattered life. Re-assembling the pieces seemed impossible but soon it began taking shape.
On October 8th the Quintet will celebrate the record release of Short Stories at the 55 Bar in New York City with two sets at 9.30 pm and 11.30 pm. With admission, every guest will receive a double-disc album for free.
Moreno teaches at New York University’s Jazz Performance Program and Columbia University’s Louis Armstrong Jazz Studies Program as well as at City College of New York. He has performed and toured extensively. The drummer lived and worked in Europe for six years, and appeared on over 100 recordings, as well as television, DVDs and radio broadcasts.
Moreno has recorded with the likes of Jaki Byard, Dave Liebman, Ravi Coltrane, Art Lande, Richie Beirach, Chris Potter, and has performed with Eddie Gomez, Arthur Blythe, Sonny Fortune, Eddie Henderson, Mal Waldron, Barry Harris, Richard Bona, Paul Bley and Elvin Jones, to name just a few.
Tony Moreno endorses Paiste Cymbals and plays Sonor Hi Lites, Pro Lites and Q2 drums.
1. Foxy Trot / Kenny Wheeler
2. Little One / Marc Mommaas
3. The West's Best / Tony Moreno
4. Erroll Garner / Tony Moreno
5. 55 Scotch / Tony Moreno / arranged by Ron Horton (For Cueva Lutz)
6. Susan's Dream / Tony Moreno / arranged by Marc Mommaas (For My Wife Susan)
7. No Blues To You / Tony Moreno 8. C Jam Blues / Duke Ellington / arranged by Art Lande and his students at C.U. Boulder
1. Three For D'reen / Kenny Wheeler
2. Oh Henry / Tony Moreno / arranged by Marc Mommaas
3. Grovelling / Ron Horton
4. El Rey / Tony Moreno / arranged by Marc Mommaas (For Elvin Raymond Jones and Keiko Jones)
5. M.O. / Tony Moreno (For Miles Okazaki)
6. Pueblo De Lagrimas / Tony Moreno (For Ketil Bjørnstad)
7. El Rey Take #2 / Tony Moreno (Duos/Trios)
Marc Mommaas - Tenor Saxophone
Ron Horton - Trumpet
Jean-Michel Pilc - Piano
Ugonna Okegwo - Bass
Tony Moreno - Drums