Artist and Music News

Special EFX Announces Album “All Stars” for February 14

 January 10, 2020

By  ExoticDJ

Mainstay of the GRAMMY® nominated collective that is Special EFX, guitarist Chieli Minucci has spent a lot of time on the road the last few years with a revolving lineup of celebrated musicians who bring the band’s world jazz brand to life. When Minucci began writing the group’s 21st album that he produced, he came up with the idea of inviting each player from the rotating touring ensemble to perform on the album and even composed material with specific musicians in mind. The luminous result is “All Stars,” a title that is a nod to an accomplished supporting cast. The imaginative collage of contemporary jazz, world music and blues drops on February 14. Hanky Panky Boys is the first single off the set.

“It was the first tune that I wrote specifically for the album and it doesn’t really sound like Special EFX, whatever that might be! I wanted to write something a bit different that we could play at jazz festival jam sessions, a piece that kind of sounds like a standard. Writing it got me fired up and inspired to write other music for the project,” said Minucci, who co-founded Special EFX 35 years ago with the late percussionist George Jinda and has amassed a host of Billboard No. 1 singles. 

Minucci wrote thirteen songs for “All Stars” and scrapbooked the talented artists who brought his eclectic vision into focus along with his New York City-based core band members Jay Rowe (keyboards), Jerry Brooks (bass) and Joel Rosenblatt (drums). Among the dozens of guest stars on the album are violinist Regina Carter, saxophonist/flautist Nelson Rangell, trumpeter Lin Rountree, multi-horn player David MannSpyro Gyra drummer Lionel Cordew, bassist Gerald Veasley, keyboardist Lao Tizer, fretless bassist-vocalist Fernando Saunders, a longtime Special EFX family member who has a history with the outfit dating back to their formative years; and 2019 Soul Tracks Female Vocalist of the Year Maysa Leak, who soars mightily on a version of Jimi Hendrix’s “Little Wing.” 


“I grew up listening to Jimi Hendrix. During a show we did two years ago with Maysa, I asked if she’d like to try singing ‘Little Wing’ and I was totally blown away. I asked her about making a recording of it and when she agreed, I got serious about the arrangement. I wanted to pay homage to the rock aspect of Jimi Hendrix. I also wanted to do something that was modern R&B. I think it came out unusual and I’m curious to hear how people react to it. I don’t really do cover tunes too often so this was different,” said Minucci, who will lead a revolving Special EFX lineup on a busy touring schedule in support of “All Stars” beginning on the eve of the album release date at Yoshi’s Oakland

Catch Special EFX featuring Chieli Minucci on tour on the following dates

January 24 & 25            Bermuda Jazz Festival                                                  

February 13                  Yoshi’s Oakland                                                           Oakland, CA

February 15                  Spaghettini                                                                   Seal Beach, CA

February 16                  Aliante Casino Hotel & Spa                                           Las Vegas, NV

February 18                  Blues Alley                                                                   Washington, DC

February 19                  Middle C Jazz                                                               Charlotte, NC

February 20                  Blue Bamboo Center for the Arts                                   Winter Park, FL

February 21 & 22          The Velvet Note                                                            Alpharetta, GA

March 11                      Dakota Jazz Club                                                          Minneapolis, MN

March 12                      Soiled Dove Underground                                             Denver, CO

March 13                      The Sofia                                                                      Sacramento, CA

March 14                      Tower Theatre                                                              Fresno, CA

March 21                      Maxwell C. King Center                                       Melbourne, FL

April 2-4                       Boscov’s Berks Jazz Festival                                         Reading, PA

April 11                        The Cutting Room                                                         New York, NY


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