*“The thing about this record that’s different is I get to play with people that travel with me on the road, I wrote it with them in mind,” said Grammy-nominated Chieli Minucci, a Contemporary Jazz guitarist, about his new album February 14, 2020, Valentine’s Day, release titled “All Stars” (Trippin N Rhythm Records) by his band Special EFX Featuring Chieli Minucci.
The Special EFX band features the vocals of Maysa Leak on the Hendrix cover “Little Wings”. The band consist of Lionel Cordew on drums; Jay Rowe on grand piano/keyboards; Jerry Brooks on bass; David Mann on sax and flute; Regina Carter on violin; Lao Tizer on grand piano/keyboard; Mino Cinelu on percussion; Tatum Greenblatt on trumpet; Gerald Veasley on bass; Eric Marienthal on sax; Fernando Saunders on fretless bass; Steve Adelson on the Chapman stick; Joel Rosenblatt on drums; Antoine Silverman on violin; Lin Roundtree on trumpet; Mike Davis on trombone, and Nelson Rangell on sax.
“I have a lot of horns, so I wrote for them,” Chieli said. “I’m pretty grass-roots with the people I’m close with. “I kept some sounds of Special EFX. People know that comes from us. What is new is the big bass tunes. We stay true to what we were in the late 80s.”
“All Stars” is the group’s 21st project. They are currently on tour promoting the new “All Star” album which arrives February 13th at Yoshi’s in Oakland, CA; the 15th at Spaghettini’s in Seal Beach, CA (where I will be); the 18th at Blues Alley in Washington, DC; the 19th at Middle C Jazz in Charlotte, NC, and continuing the rest of February and March – ending April 11th at The Cutting Room in New York, NY.
In reviewing the “All Star” release by Special EFX Featuring Chieli Minucci my favorites cuts on the album include #1 “Mr. Marzipan” because it has just the right flow and I love the way Chieli plays the guitar and David plays the sax – they sing. I also like #3, the first single “Hanky Panky Boys” because the organ skills seem to be taking you to church and I love the “go go” feel thanks to the drums. The #4 selection “Little Wings,” the Jimmy Hendrix cover, because the vocals of Maysa capture you, but the Hendrix influenced guitar playing and the sax pulls you all the way in. The #5 song “Empathy” is a masterpiece because of the perfect mixture of the guitar, the sax and the vocals of Fernando. The #7 track “Arise” is short, but its sweet, almost Classical sounding and I love the end with the violin sounding likes it’s on its way to Heaven, and last #9 “Sweet Memories of You”, which just has Chieli on guitar, is simply heavenly. www.ChieliMusic.com – www.SpecialEFXMusic.com
SYNDICATED COLUMN: Eunice Moseley, has an estimated weekly readership of over ¼ million with The Pulse of Entertainment. She is also a Public Relations Strategist and Business Management Consultant at Freelance Associates and is Promotions Director (at-large) for The Baltimore Times. www.ThePulseofEntertainment.com. EVENT: Eunice is founder of the annual “Uplifting Minds II” Entertainment Conference (ULMII), into its 20th year. Next event dates include Baltimore Saturday April 18, 2020, held in partnership with Security Square Mall and The Baltimore Times. Los Angeles date coming in November, 2020. The free conference offers an Entertainment Business Panel and a Talent Showcase and Talent Competition (vocal, songwriting, dance and acting) with over $15,000 valued in prizes/product/services to selected artists. Log onto www.UpliftingMinds2.com for more information or to participate as a panelist or talent call 562-424-3836.