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Guitarist Chieli Minucci is a man of many talents. Not only were he and the late George Jinda true pioneers of smooth jazz in the early 80s with their group, Special EFX, but his amazing guitar work has been heard on albums by Celine Dion, Jennifer Lopez, Backstreet Boys, Lionel Richie as well as on endless TV shows and films. 

Where he thrives is in the studio as a session guitarist, composer and producer.    The countless hours he spends on production in his creative den may have something to do with the fact that his father was a composer/arranger who worked with Nat King Cole and top producers like Mutt Lange (AC/DC, Shania Twain, Bryan Adams).   Chieli's guitar licks, reminiscent of Pat Metheny and David Gilmour, are utterly captivating.  Tracks like 'Sunset Passion Juice' and 'Empathy' are effortless.  He's employed other studio Allstars for Special EFX's 23rd album, like  drummer Joel Rosenblatt (Spyro Gyra) and saxophonists, David Mann, Nelson Rangell and Eric Marienthal.  My favourite track on the album is "Two Dancing" where Jerry Brooks shines on bass and  both Regina Carter and Antoine Silverman add a little violin, giving it a kind of funky Dave Matthews Band sound. Although this track is my favourite, this album is chock full of brilliant songs by one of our format leaders and his Allstar band.  Be sure to see them live at this year's Boscov's Berks Jazz Festival for an Allstar weekend experience!

Gary James​

Host of The Night Show

The Wave


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