"...five-man band of consummate musicians makes it indisputable: These guys have more business being on a cabaret stage than a lot of the performers currently working in New York City."
"2014 Jazz Artist of the Year"
- OC MUSIC AWARDS
Voted one of the “Greatest O.C. Bands of All Time”
- OC WEEKLY MAGAZINE critics, June 2003
"This young composer has put together a contemporary jazz masterpiece..."
- LA JAZZ SCENE
"...This young composer, whose objective is to speak to the world through his music, has recorded a masterpiece..."
- RHYTHM & BLUES REPORT
"This is contemporary jazz at it's best."
- MAC RADIO MAGAZINE
"...make every effort you can to see Tony Guerrero live..."
- CONTEMPORARY JAZZ REVIEW
"...it would take a lot of contemporary jazz brilliance to outshine this stellar collection of music..."
- RADIO & RECORDS MAGAZINE
"...His emotion is nearly palpable throughout a powerful and moving horn performance..."
- JAZZIZ MAGAZINE
"...More depth and nuance than other contemporary jazz CDs..."
- JAZZ TIMES MAGAZINE
"Not since Chuck Mangione has anyone written for the flugelhorn with such emotion and versatility."
- JAZZ TIMES MAGAZINE
"'(Ballads' contains) some of the best instrumental R&B ever recorded."
- INTERNATIONAL TRUMPET GUILD JOURNAL
"...His music compliments his personality - smooth, calm, creative, exciting, and in control. In his quiet, shy way, when you watch him perform, he sneaks up and grabs you, and you're totally immersed in him and his music."
- LA JAZZ SCENE
- "...Guerrero's horn has a rich, melt in your mouth urgency about it - a very smooth, lifting feel..."
- LA JAZZ SCENE
- "...Tony Guerrero's tunes range from funky backbeat numbers to cool, soothing ballads, graced by its leader's smooth, melodic flugelhorn tones..."
- LA TIMES
"...a musician who, with this record, reaches his musical maturity and becomes a reference in how to handle the Flugelhorn."
- NOT JUST SMOOTH JAZZ (nosolosmoothjazz.com)
REVIEWS ON 2010's "BLUE ROOM" CD
"Tony’s new CD was quite a refreshing surprise to me. I can easily hear echoes of Dizzy Gillespie, Shorty Rogers, perhaps Bobby Hackett and Charlie Shavers all along with more modern styles of Miles, Chet Baker, Lee Morgan, and Freddie Hubbard . A very well-produced product that displays the broad aspects of Tony's skills. In addition, it is a VERY HAPPY sounding CD. Everyone was having great fun doing this and it shows!"
- Bobby Shew (Jazz Trumpet Legend)
“Here’s a fun trumpet player to check out. Guerrero has sprightly chops, a deep knowledge of jazz and a quest for good vibes. Kicking it off with a wholly new take on “It’s Only a Paper Moon” and working out new ideas on chestnuts and standards that become his own, he sets a sweet table that let’s you know you better enjoy yourself because it’s later than you think so you might as well be happy, don’t worry. Blending a load of the fun elements of commercial jazz over the last 40 years, Guerrero brings the salmagundi to the proper boil and serves up some of the tastiest playing you’ve heard in a while. Simply a killer date.”
- Chris Spector, Editor/Publisher, Midwest Record
"Great songs pared down to their essence by Tony. His rich tone and beautiful interpretations hit it out of the park."
- Greg Adams (Founding Trumpeter, Tower Of Power)
On the January 3, 2011, JazzWeek Album Chart, trumpeter Tony Guerrero’s Blue Room (Charleston Square) was listed 22nd. That’s for good reason. The album is a delightful mix of standards and new songs.Guerrero has consistently maintained Top 20 airplay and has an international following. The California musician also plays flugelhorn and cornet. The trio of Llew Matthews on piano, Dave Enos on bass and Matt Johnson on drums accompanies Guerrero. The set also features several guest musicians.“Just a Few,” a lively piece composed by Shorty Rogers, features Doug Webb on sax with additional brass provided by West End Horns. About two minutes into the song, Webb and Guerrero enter a spirited dialogue, trading phrases for an extended sequence. The horns pitch in at key times. Then the band stops, while the two leads stretch out. Though a small ensemble, this piece has the feel of a traditional big band.Guerrero’s own “Dizzy Does It” accomplishes two things in one title. It pays tribute to master of the bent horn, John Birks “Dizzy” Gillespie. And it is a clever spin on the phrase, “Easy does it.” The two ideas come together nicely. Guerrero plays the muted trumpet, and although the theme is very different, one can’t help but think of Dizzy playing “Night in Tunisia.” The rhythm section is solid, and Webb contributes a playful sax solo. “Dizzy Does It” is a swinging, dancer-friendly tune.One of the most fun tunes is the arrangement of Mel Davis’ “Flugel Bugle Blues.” It has a 1940s flavor to it, with the horn section in full force. At times, the trumpets punch in with a throaty, grinding sound – like one of the big band arrangements of Horace Silver’s “Sister Sadie.” Guerrero breaks up the hard driving mood briefly with a smooth flugelhorn solo. The solitude doesn’t last long as the horns punch in again. In addition to the rhythm section, Webb and the horns, Guerrero is supported in spots by guitarist Jamie Findlay, saxophonist and flutist Robert Kyle, organist Joe Bagg, pianist Frank Giebels, trumpeter Willie Murillo, saxophonist Mark Visher and trombonist Jason Thor. The result is a thrilling trip down memory lane, but with a fresh view of the scenery.
- The Jazz Writer
As of the release of Blue Room, Tony Guerrero has been plying his trumpet, fluegelhorn, and cornet trade to world audiences, airplay, and critical recognition for two decades, blowing horns as clean and sweet as a September morning. He's a cat who holds an overall tone somewhere between Paul Desmond, Terumasa Hino, Herb Alpert, and Benny Goodman (and, yes, I'm well aware of the disparity in Desmond's and Goodman's instruments). Too, his wont lands Guerrero squarely in elder jazz airs a la those just-named gents but also with the sort of precision and pristine atmospheres the Buselli-Wallerab projects and offshoots have produced. For this disc, the gent chose a mean mess of standards and a couple self-penned numbers.
He finds little trouble in going from wistful ballad to bop and bossa from cut to cut; thus, the listener is treated to a cavalcade of tempos and styles, all wielded with relish accompanied by a trio of swinging' staples (Llew Matthews on piano, Dave Enos on bass, and Matt Johnson on drums) as well as a snappy array of top-notch guests. More, his own two cuts have a marked atmosphere of sheer old Blue Note vitality and tradition, Dizzy Does It being particularly cool. Blue Room is, from start to finish, an exposition of classy jazz dive music, the kind of fare that demands velvet curtains, ties and blazers, and a background susurration of appreciative murmurs atop brandy snifter tinkling.
Jamie Findlay, in a couple cuts, drags in a Jim Hall era guitar that recalls the six-string boogie of Kessel and others while looking forward to Martino. His solo in My Secret Love is bedded in Guerrero's dulcet tones, alive and golden, both of them swirling around the central theme for all its worth, the sort of brainy exercises we saw in Earl Klugh's later catalogue. Flugel Bugle Blues" expands into a big band sound kicking the brass into overdrive while Johnson pounds some extremely tasty traps, cut-a-rug music from jump, finger-snappin' and jitterbugging. A number of tracks push past the 5 and 6 minute marks, so there's plenty of room for exploration and improv everywhere, making for a release that lacks for nothing.
Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Mark S. Tucker
Blue Room, Tony Guerrero, trumpet and flugelhorn.You'd have trouble convincing me that the audience for "standards" is diminishing. Because scores of CDs simply exclude standards. Apparently, Guerrero feels there's still a place for a swinging interpretation of a tune or two from Songbook America. Or in this case, nine of them. With a scintillating rhythm section of Llew Matthews, piano, Dave Enos, bass, and Matt Johnson, drums — plus a generous scattering of guests here and there — Guerrero smacks a homer with "It's Only a Paper Moon," "Black Orpheus," "Body and Soul," "Blue Room," "Secret Love," "Over the Rainbow," "Just Squeeze Me," "Candy" and "My Romance." His original melodies, sometimes playful in nature, are "real" songs with melodies and bridges. Remember those?! Guerrero prods a "Mrs Butterworth" tone (thick and rich) from both horns, and I must say, it's sure nice to hear someone making joyous music instead of trying to reinvent the wheel at every turn.
-Jazz Society of Oregon
Tony Guerrero: Blue Room is a collection of jazz standards, performed capably by Guerrero on flugelhorn and trumpet. ...
Blue Room abounds with light and cute renditions of songs like "Carumba," "It's Only A Paper Moon," and "Blue Room," that seem tailor-made for this treatment. ...The best moments are when Guerroro tackles ballads like "Body and Soul" or channels great soul and blues influences on a song like "Flugel Bugle Blues." Guerrero does a fine job intepreting the standards and releasing an album that is very true to tradition. ... Tony Guerrero: Blue Room is a nostalgic tribute to 100 years of great jazz music, and Guerrero's facility on the flugelhorn and trumpet is supported by a group of fine backing musicians...
-Fridtjof, GameVortex Communications AKA Matt Paddock
5 out of 5 Stars!
Fabulous album. I had heard one of the tracks on NPR and really liked it so I found the album it was on. The rest of this album did not disappoint me. I really enjoy listening to it and can't wait to get more of his albums.
- Swimmom (Tampa Bay FL)
I like opening my mail here at KPCC. Musicians have asked me if I really listen to everything that aspiring and established artists send to me. The answer in a word, YES! Today I received Tony Guerrero’s, Blue Room CD on the Charleston Square label. http://charlestonsquare.net
Tony Guerrero is a noted musician in the jazz arena with nine critically acclaimed Billboard charting solo CDs. While maintaining an active schedule both in performances and in the studio as a musician, writer and performer, Tony also serves as the Director of Creative Arts for Saddleback Church, home church of Pastor Rick Warren and the Purpose Driven movement. This trumpeter/flugelhornist/keyboard man has also appeared on hundreds of recordings by other artists and has toured the world as a headlining artist. Tony has written songs recorded by artists from both the jazz world and the Christian world ranging from Brian Bromberg to CeCe Winans. Guerrero is an author too. He’s written two books and dozens of articles for major magazines.
Each track was quality, A-1, great jazz, fun listening, and hey—I’m not here to review music. I just know what sounds great. Made a call to Guerrero's publicity team and they graciously gave permission for an excerpt of Tony Guerrero's music to be used for a production bed for Southern California Public Radio. Track 7, "Dizzy Does It" has been paired with an underwriting spot I am producing for The Getty’s Annual Literary Short Stories event, “Selected Shorts: A Celebration of the Short Story” featuring actors Leonard Nimoy, Robert Sean Leonard, Tim Curry, and Viola Davis. They will be reading luscious tales of food and passions, politics, mystery and deep sea adventure.
- Rita Pardue's Sound Mind – NPR
Veteran flugelhorn and trumpet player Tony Guerrero has that ‘sweet sound’ that horn players work hard to achieve. On his latest recording, Blue Room, that sound comes through, and so too does the sense of joy in his playing. The recording is a finger-snapper that grabs you and doesn’t let go from beginning to end, morphing from a quartet effort into a multi-horn big band at times. The project’s 13 tracks are comprised of nine popular standards, as well as two written by Guerrero. He’s joined on the effort by a solid group of musicians, including pianist Llew Matthews, bassist Dave Enos, drummer Matt Johnson, guitarist Jamie Findlay, as well as saxophonists Doug Webb and Rober Kyle, pianist Frank Giebels and Hammond B3 organist Joe Bagg. Fantastic performances by all make this a stellar product that must be heard.
- Raves/The Jazz Page
One must go back decades to find bands — and recordings — that featured what I call "happy jazz." It became popular in the years between Dixieland and traditional, and it had several characteristics: a relatively simple melodic line, mid- to upbeat tempos, and plenty of swing. Additionally, those who played it always had fun.
Brass player Tony Guerrero and his supporting musicians have recreated that style.
Guerrero, who plays cornet, trumpet and flugelhorn, heads a quartet with pianist Llew Matthews, bassist Dave Enos and drummer Matt Johnson. Five guest artists are added for this release: guitarist Jamie Findlay, saxophonists Doug Webb and Robert Lyle, pianist Frank Giebels and B3 organist Joe Bagg. Their contributions are sprinkled throughout the 13 tracks.
The majority of the tunes are familiar standards ("It’s Only a Paper Moon," "Body and Soul," "Candy," "Blue Room" and others); the remaining tracks are lesser-known pop tunes ("Black Orpheus," "Just Squeeze Me") and a couple of originals by Guerrero.
I love everything, and others of my generation likely will feel the same. The musicians are excellent, and everything is done is a delightful manner. You’ll find yourself humming along, snapping your fingers and wanting to dance.
- Ric Bang / Jazz Scan
Tony Guerrero’s ‘Blue Room’ swings!
When Tony Guerrero blows big, he sets dance halls on fire. The nationally known/L.A.-based trumpeter released his chart-topping “Blue Room” CD last September, revealing why he’s been the darling of the jazz community for 20-plus years.
A prolific artist, Guerrero knows how to put the right band mates together for the ultimate big band gig and recording—with nine solos, tons of specials and guest spots to his household name. Considered a contemporary jazz artist, Guerrero manages to mix old world style (think early 1900s ragtime and 1940s swing) with slick, sick flourishes.
Released through Charleston Square Recordings, Guerrero’s latest CD overwhelms the senses with mostly very famous standards and two of his own original compositions. His CD band mates are tops in their game as well: Llew Matthews on piano, Dave Enos-bass, Matt Johnson-drums, special guest stars Joe Bagg (B-3), Jamie Findlay (guitar), Robert Kyle and Doug Webb (reeds), and Frank Giebels (piano), and the West End Horns (Willie Murillo, Mark Visher, Jason Thor).
The tracks go from swing, straight ahead and bossa nova to be-bop and ballad. But it is the fast-paced swing of a big band where Guerrero never goes wrong. Exhibit A: “Flugel Bugle Blues” by Mel Davis. The slammin’, screamin’ horn and drum sections set the tone for a 1940s WWII boogie woogie big band throwback. Horns and drums rule here, using their fanciful, tight, and edgy interplay to cover the canvas in vast metallic cool. It’ll be a fast favorite.
“Just A Few” – a Shorty Rogers number – really swings from start to finish, calling to mind old-fashioned big band sounds, the winding horns, the beat and backbeat answer and call, constantly rhythmically rockin’ in a fast-paced time, endlessly danceable and the perfect showcase of Guerrero’s horn versatility.
Another winner is “Dizzy Does It,” a bluesy, breezy tune Guerrero penned. This one starts off slower, at an even pace, but still swings with a catchy melody that is used in parts and elaborated upon throughout. Here, the piano keeps up the loose, finger-snappin’, foot-tappin’ schematics, as Guerrero’s runs on trumpet go from easygoing to frenetic and pulsing, but never out of control.
Of all the songs on this CD, Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart’s “Blue Room” classic really manages to capture what Tony Guerrero’s CD is all about, and it’s all about that swing. This band captures it in spades, all burning horn manipulation, lyrical, curvaceous punctuations, smooth, syncopated rolls, harmonic-pushing piano action, fast-fingered bass and drum solos – just a fantastic instrumental piece to showcase the individual musicians and coalesce as a whole. ...
“Over The Rainbow” is an intimate, masculine, sexy revelation. The tension in the horn up against the piano and drums taking their time hints at yearning, lust, romance in a Harold Arlen/E.Y. Harburg classic that’s been interpreted through the ages as an innocent tale of a young girl’s hopes and dreams for a brighter future. It’s something more adult in this case.
“My Secret Love” – a 1953 pop song by Sammy Fain and Paul Francis Webster used for Doris Day’s Calamity Jane movie – is given a recent lift with plucky guitar and horns. Guitarist Jamie Findlay, to Guerrero’s credit (no ego here), is allowed to really fly in his lengthy solo. Love the lighter, skipping melody of just guitar and horns.
- Carol Banks Weber, Jazz Music Examiner
Small ensemble and big band arrangements of traditional and original tunes, featuring trumpet virtuoso Tony Guerrero. Hitting the right balance between traditional and original is hard to accomplish. If it’s too close to the original material, you come off sounding like you’re just imitating the real performance instead of creating something new and fresh. On the other hand, if you’re too far away from the original performances, some people will claim that you are not being respectful of the originals and are too different. In “Blue Room,” Tony Guerrero manages to hit the right balance. The arrangements are fresh and energetic and Gerrero’s performance references players from the past while instilling his own take on things. He maintains an easy-going virtuosity on the trumpet that completely won me over—tasteful and engaging.Several classic are here, like “It’s Only Paper Moon,” “Body and Soul,” and “Over the Rainbow.” If there are any songs that are hard to bring something new to, it would be these tunes, but Guerrero does just that. They’re great fun to listen to. For instance, “Just a Few” features a dynamic big band arrangement and is a blast. Since this CD relies on so many classic tunes, it’s hard to walk away feeling like you’ve heard something completely new—there’s that criticism again—but you do come away feeling like you’ve just been visiting old friends that despite their advanced age are doing just fine. They’re still spry and full of life, and you feel better for the visit. And that’s what this recording does for the listener; it makes you feel good again. And that’s not a small thing.
- Hermon Joyner
Click the image to read the
International Trumpet Guild's
2013 in-depth article covering
Tony's entire career.