Monday, May 23, 2016

Tony Messina: Send In The Clowns

Isn't it rich, are we a pair
Me here at last on the ground
You in mid-air
Send in the clowns

-Stephen Sondheim

Tony Messina, a native Philadelphian,
is a pop/jazz singer/songwriter and actor who's appeared in concerts from coast to coast and internationally at jazz festivals, theatres and nightclubs. He is about to make MUSIC history with his new album release, Send In the Clowns.  It’s a first…Tony who once sang with Stan Kenton’s Orchestra in Kansas City, MO fell in love with Stan Kenton’s recording and arrangement of Send in the Clowns released on Stan’s album, “Street of Dreams.”  Tony contacted Creative World in Los Angeles, who owns the rights.  Together they created a partnership/agreement which gave Tony permission to add his voice onto Stan’s brilliant arrangement.
It’s a miraculous marriage of voice and arrangement.  Upon hearing it, you would think that Stan wrote the arrangement especially for Tony and then went into a recording studio together to make this recording. 
Rob Russell, Ann Hampton Callaway and Tony. Palm Beach Fla. 2008 (Source: Kari Strand)
This unique situation has never occurred before in the history of the music industry, not in jazz nor in any other genre of music.  Oh yes you’re thinking, what about Louis Armstrong and Kenny G and Nat King Cole and Natalie Cole.  Those situations are not a voice on a jazz track.  The rest of the “Send in the Clowns” album includes Tony singing with his incredible Irwin Solomon quartet.

An icon of American entertainment for more than four decades, Tony Messina captivates his audience with a commanding presence. He’s a singer/songwriter who has appeared in concert internationally.  Tony has worked with Stan Kenton, Lionel Hampton and Louie Bellson.  In addition, Tony has appeared in films such as Creed, Paranoia, Silver Linings Playbook, History of the World and Life Stinks.

Tony sends his thanks to Frank Sinatra who he worked for and to Harrison Ford, Bradley Cooper, Sylvester Stallone and Mel Brooks who he worked with and to all the radio stations around the world who have played and continue to play his music.  If you have any questions, please contact me at HEART TOHEART RECORDS, 917.797.1767 or larryrose@tonymessina.com.  Thank You.

Phrasing is what Tony Messina does best. Either you have it or you don’t. His latest CD, Send in
The Clowns on Heart Records, is loaded with meaningful lyrics and smooth rhythm licks. Messina knows them all, because for years he's played the club and concert scene all over the world with jazz groups and big bands. The bulk of the CD features Messina interpreting standards by the likes of Stephen Sondheim, Rogers and Hart, the Beatles, Bacharach and David, Jimmy Webb, and Cole Porter. This is Messina's strong suit. His versions remind you of when and where you were when you first heard those songs. Music does that to you- it’s a love letter to life.
Messina interprets lyrics like an instrumentalist. Standout standards include “Send In The Clowns," the uptempo "I Didn't Know What Time it Was” and Messina's Latin take on the Bacharach classic, “The Look Of Love. "He's also a proficient songwriter. Messina swings like nobody can on "Jazz'd" and “I Love You," and on the ballad, "Lifetimes," a sadness and longing for past love
affairs comes across. In the humor department is the cool hip, fun/loving, "Mile High Club." Tony's song writing and innovative take on pop and jazz standards is fresh, unique and undeniably infectious.

Messina's accompanied by Stan Kenton’s Orchestra on “Send In The Clowns.” The other twelve songs are backed by the Irwin Solomon Quartet that include reedman Paul Chafin on sax and flute, Ed De Matteo on bass and John Hayman on drums. He may be a Sinatra and Ella disciple but Tony Messina's his own man on this well-paced CD.
Lenny Bloom/Jazz Note
The following is based on my interview with Tony:
At this time of my life, I feel like doing less shows and so I’m going with that impulse, though I am always up for doing a good deed and so therefore sometime this year I will be doing a fund raiser for the Aspen Art Museum and Wounded Warriors.  I’ll keep you posted on dates
and time.  On the other hand, I’m not going to slow down with regards to recording and
writing songs. I find the creative process still very exciting and challenging.
What people may not know about me, which i have come to in the last four years is that I have gotten heavily into cooking and baking and I love it.  First of all, I always loved and appreciated good food and why not.
Most recently, I’m getting into baking.  Top of my list,
at this point is my pecan, triple chocolate killer happy chocolate brownies guaranteed to sooth your soul.  I created a flower garden about three years ago bursting with all of kinds of flowers dominated mostly with Zinnias.

In addition, I am constantly reading two books at all times mainly embedded with psychology.  I can never get enough.
What I always desired to achieve in my lifetime is to learn and grow. I am still trying to be a better human being because I know that a lifetime isn’t really enough time to achieve that goal.  That is still why, I could never understand boredom.
My first memory of entertainment is having this overwhelming desire to make music, perform, act and even juggle but I must admit, I wasn’t ever very good at juggling.
I always wanted to be known as a great sing.
My first memory of being an entertainer is that it scared the s!@# out of me.  I thought
am I crazy?…What makes me think I can take on such a quest.  I can only answer
that with it was my passion that drove me to do all of the great things I did but I must
admit that having some luck is a BIG factor.  Without my luck, I would not have
achieved the things that I achieved.
My inspiration that drove me throughout my career was the love for Ella Fitzgerald and
Frank Sinatra.
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They gave me the hope that I could make it.  Talk about luck, I met and worked for Frank Sinatra.  Don’t think that I didn’t think I died and went to heaven. 
He even gave ideas and taught me about things that I needed to do and know to
survive and endure my career in show business. 
I’m not really angry but I wish I would have received more parts in the television and
film industry but even though that didn’t come, I worked with some of my favorite
actors namely Harrison Ford, Sylvester Stallone and Robert DeNiro.  So all was not
lost.
The career that I wanted, I pretty much got.  I don’t have any angst about not becoming
a major star.  I am happy with all that I accomplished and grateful that it happened for
me.  I don’t feel that there was anything that held me back from what I wanted to
do except I always wanted to record an album with a string orchestra.  I didn’t get to
do that but I’m okay about it.
There is nothing that I would have changed about  and how my career played out.
My plan for this year is to think about the kind of songs I want to write for my next album.  
If I could accomplish ANYTHING and money wasn’t an object, I would want to save the world.
Dreams like my imagination always have been and will continue to take me wherever I want
to go.  Everyone should dream, have a dream and use their imagination.
To keep up to date with Tony Messina's career, please visit his website
Heart to Heart Records presents Tony's new album, Send In The Clowns. The official release date is May 2016. Tony sings 12 songs with the Irwin Solomon Quartet and one song, Send in the Clowns with Stan Kenton Orchestra.
Follow Tony on Facebook

For Bookings:
Contact:
LARRY ROSE
Heart to Heart Records
PO Box 1596
Media, PA 19063
Telephone:1
(917) 797-1767
Telephone:2
(484) 580-6274
Email:
larryrose@tonymessina.com

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