interviews & concert reviews

Interview Chieli Minucci & Special EFX by JazzRockTV (Germany) hosted by Georg Pilger and Ralf Schmitz The Netherlands – Hengelo – Metropool (via VIMEO)

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Interview Chieli Minucci & Special EFX by JazzRockTV (Germany) hosted by Georg Pilger and Ralf Schmitz The Netherlands – Hengelo – Metropool (via BlipTV)

Interview Chieli Minucci touring with Omar Hakim November 2010

JazzrockTV #23 Chieli Minucci from JazzrockTV on Vimeo.


The American Jazz group Special EFX celebrates their 25th anniversary with a Europe Tour which will start at the Jazz Podium De Tor – The Netherlands

(by Ton Ouwehand)

IT took a while, and he estimated it would be something between the 10 or maybe 15 years, anyhow, the American guitar player Chieli Minucci will be coming back toour country. (TheNetherlands)

Tomorrow night (September 17th), he will be playing with his group Special EFX at the “Jazz Podium De Tor” and Saturday 25, he will be performing as guest appearance and as musical director at the SmoothJazz Festival in Metropool,Hengelo – The Netherlands.

A unique musician. Son of an Italian concert pianoplayer who immigrated to theUnited Statesbecause he loved jazz and saw himself writing music for someone like Nat King Cole. Which actually happened! It was because of this Ulpio Minucci that his son Chieli received in 1982 his first record deal with a Dutch record company called Keytone Records from Chris Hinze.

“That went with cassette tapes. You copied these and sent it to all record companies you have ever heard of. Chris Hinze responded to this. I know sure it was because he recognizes the name Minucci. Chris was registrated as a classical flute player with the same record company which my dad worked for. Hinze helped Chieli with his first record, however Minucci looked back at it with a lot of mixed feelings, because Hinze didn’t show up with a contract. He received something to sign yet when the record lights where on. “There was no time to read the contract, let alone to let a lawyer check it out as well. He has been waiting for his money for 8 years. But Chieli is not complaining anymore about this because one year later, he and his percussion player compagnion George Jinda signed a contract with the American label GRP. There, they made a couple of 10 records before they left to an even more interesting record label JVC.

George came up with the name Special Delivery. But it appeared there was already a band with the same name. So they had to find a new name for the group and they came with Special EFX, with a blink of the eye to the movie world because they thought their music could be used as a sound track from a movie.

Special EFX will celebrate their 25 anniversary with a Europe Tour. They have never thought the band would exist so long. “The idea was to bring a good band together. The success is just the thing that you hope for. We wanted a band with guitar, a lot of percussion and drums. We didn’t want to become one of the many jazz bands with songs that already exist. We wanted contemporary pieces and whether it would be jazz, latin or rock, that was totally not of importance.”

Special EFX is an instrumental group, with some vocals. Percussion player Philip Hamilton, who joined the group after Jinda’s death in 2001, has been the vocalist in the group since then. This while the group lineup was and still is: Jay Rowe (keyoards), Jerry Broks (bass), Lionel Cordew (drums).

Chieli started as a child with piano lessons. But when he came in touch with rock he changed to play guitar. “I liked Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck. Later on I was fascinated the the symphonic: John McLaughin with his Mahavishu Orchestra and Return Forever from Chick Corea.”

The last groups had also influence in a way to the sound of Special EFX, which according to Minucci also would be compared and interpreted like the Pat Metheny Group. And this will be strengthened by musicians like Mike Ledford, Paul Wertico who played in both the groups.

“People may compare as they do, but I think we play a bit more aggressive than Pat Metheny”.

Gamelan Games (from East of the Sun) // Chieli Minucci
  1. Gamelan Games (from East of the Sun) // Chieli Minucci
  2. New Bop (from Sweet Surrender) // Chieli Minucci
  3. Hot 100 (from Sweet on You) // Chieli Minucci
  4. Two Dancing (clip 1) // Special EFX featuring Chieli MInucci - All Stars
  5. Guitarzzz (from Sweet Surrender) // Chieli Minucci
  6. Sad Senorita (from World Journeys – Gotham Music GM174) // Chieli Minucci
  7. Yesterdays Memories (from Slice of Life) // Chieli Minucci
  8. Till the End of Time (from Genesis) // Chieli Minucci
  9. Jewels – part 1 (from Jewels) // Chieli Minucci
  10. So It Begins (from Genesis) // Chieli Minucci