Special EFX featuring Chieli Minucci | A Night With Chieli Minucci & Special EFX - DVD

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Chieli Minucci & Special EFX

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Jazz: Jazz Fusion Jazz: World Fusion Moods: Instrumental
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A Night With Chieli Minucci & Special EFX - DVD

by Special EFX featuring Chieli Minucci

Live performance DVD footage, world jazz fusion, contemporary instrumental music
Genre: Jazz: Jazz Fusion
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Courageous Cats
0:00 album only
2. Speak To Me
0:00 album only
3. Daybreak
0:00 album only
4. Bodybeat
0:00 album only
5. Cause We've Ended As Lovers
0:00 album only
6. Still Waiting
0:00 album only
7. Cruise Control
0:00 album only


Album Notes
Chieli Minucci - electric and acoustic guitars
Jerry Brooks - bass
Lionel Cordew - drums
Jay Rowe - keyboards
David Mann - saxophones, flute
Philip Hamilton - vocals and percussion

Filmed and Recorded at the Harbourfront Centre Theatre, Toronto, Canada
Audio mixing by Paul Wickliffe
Directed by Daniel K. Berman
Edited by Paul McNulty

Chieli Minucci is the leader of the Grammy-nominated contemporary jazz group Special EFX, which formed in 1982. Minucci & Special EFX have recorded a combined 26 CDs, 8 of those being solo releases. In addition Minucci has recorded and performed with top pop artists such as Celine Dion, Lionel Richie, Jennifer Lopez, Jewel, Mark Anthony, Jessica Simpson, Anastasia and others, as well as jazz artists Marion Meadows, Jay Beckenstein, Gerald Veasley, Lao Tizer, Nestor Torez, Bob Baldwin, Jeff Lorber, and many others. His father, Ulpio Minucci (concert pianist/composer) wrote the now 'standard' 1955 hit song "Domani," as well as "A Thousand Thoughts of You," and "Felicia" (both sung by Nat King Cole).
Also known as a composer for television and film, Minucci was nominated for several Daytime Emmy Awards and has won three, in 1998, 2007, and most recently in 2008, for his compositional work on CBS's The Guiding Light. He has written music for well-known programs such as Good Morning America (theme), Bloomberg Radio (theme), Access Hollywood, The 700 Club, and others. He also contributed music to the soundtracks of Bowfinger (1999) and Panic (2000), as well as most recently to 'Lifted' (2007).
Minucci composed and produced the soundtrack for the Live Nation/Nickelodeon live stage productions of the hit TV series, Dora the Explorer (both 'Dora's Pirate Adventure ,' and 'The City of Lost Toys') which are currently touring internationally. He also wrote and recorded songs for the live stage production of the long-running British children's television show, Thomas & Friends Live! - Thomas Saves The Day!

full bio information
Chieli Minucci was born and raised in NYC. Son of Catherine & Ulpio Minucci (concert pianist/composer, who wrote the 50s hit, Domani (Julius LaRosa), A Thousand Thoughts of You, and Felicia (both Nat King Cole). Chieli grew up in Queens, NY, where he still resides today. He began music early on, studying classical piano from the age of 5, and eventually switched over to guitar at 8. He was continually surrounded by the sound of music, through his father's piano playing, and composing, which was to play a key role in his musical future as a writer himself.
At age 13 he joined neighborhood friends to form the band, Taurus, which stayed together for about 3 years. Chieli did a great deal of performing and traveling with this band, performing regularly on the Italian Line Cruise ships during Christmas and Easter school holidays, as well as countless school dances and parties, as well as local bars. It was during these teen years that he developed his love for performing, writing, singing, and traveling, all through music.
He attended Ithaca College in upstate NY, where he initially majored in music, studying classical guitar, but eventually settled in as an English major. He continued studying music theory, history, solfeggio, composition, and big band arranging, as well as joining various local groups: Amethyst, a folk/pop trio; The New Band, his first foray into fusion-jazz/rock; Fast Food, a new wave vocal/rock group; Colombo, a Brazilian trio; and finally, a long stint in Gumbo, an original instrumental/fusion rock quartet. The college life gave Chieli an opportunity to be a part of many diverse musical situations, which was key in his future as a composer/guitarist.
Following college he returned to NYC, studying composition privately with Nicolas Flagello. From ages 23 through 25 Minucci worked with many acts: The Commotion, Fran Eckhart, China Davis Band, Sapho, as well as continuing to write his own music, in particular, pop vocal music, for which he teamed up with lyricists Bobby Matthews and Norman Simon. He performed in various groups, including a two-year stint with Eartha Kitt, and eventually The B.B. & Q. Band (Capital), as well as a brief run with the Lou Reed Band, which featured the rhythm section of Fernando Saunders on bass, as well as J.T. Lewis on drums. (soon to become the first rhythm section lineup of Special EFX). Chieli performed at the original Farm Aid concert with Lou Reed as well. It was during this period that he met Hungarian drummer/percussionist, George Jinda.
Soon after meeting George, the two musicians formed Special Delivery, which landed a recording contract in 1982 with Keytone Records, in Holland. Their first LP, simply entitled, Special EFX was eventually picked up for USA distribution by GRP Records (Larry Rosen/Dave Grusin) in NYC. By 1984 Special EFX (newly renamed) had its first US release out in the stores, and the band began its present adventures in touring and performing. Since then Special EFX has recorded 17 CDs, and Chieli has recorded 6 solo CDs on his own. 'Chieli Minucci with Special EFX' is still touring regularly.
Chieli has been busy in a wide variety of musical projects, which include recording and performing with top pop artists Celine Dion, Lionel Richie, Jennifer Lopez, Jewel, Mark Anthony, Jessica Simpson, Anastasia and others....as well as jazz artists Marion Meadows, Jay Beckenstein, Gerald Veasley, Lao Tizer, Nestor Torez, Bob Baldwin, and many others....
Chieli also has a multimedia website, ChieliMusic.com, which features video, multiple soundclips, individual song downloads from all 26 CDs, as well as all biographical material, full electronic press-kit, etc...


Guitarist, composer, and arranger Chieli Minucci is the leader of the Grammy-nominated jazz-fusion group Special EFX, which he co-founded with the late George Jinda in 1984. A major force on the jazz and world music scene for 25 years, Special EFX’s newest release, “Without You” is a diverse collection of jazz-fusion, world rhythms, and the effortlessly flowing guitar artistry that Chieli (key-eh-lee) is known for. A true sound-tapestry, blending layers of sound and harmonic texture, “Without You” is an instant classic.

This brilliant double CD collection of tracks features the original Special EFX lineup of favorites – drummer Lionel Cordew, bassist Jerry Brooks, keyboardist Jay Rowe, and vocalist/percussionist Philip Hamilton - plus many brilliant guest artists, including keyboardist Jeff Lorber, violinist Karen Briggs, keyboardist Lao Tizer, vocalist Will Brock, bassist Dave Anderson, and violinist Alan Grubner.

Special EFX is one of the most prominent world fusion groups of the era. During the course of the band’s phenomenal rise to the top of the jazz charts, they released 25 CDs, including Chieli’s 8 solo releases and a live concert DVD. Seminal songs like “Daybreak”, “Cruise Control”, “Bella” and “Seduction” were among their chart-topping hits. This extraordinary super group takes their vibrant and exciting sound to the next level on its new “Without You” release, which encompasses diverse and eclectic sounds ranging from jazz fusion to world beat, pop vocals and rock-tinged arrangements.

Chieli’s latest project, the Special EFX CD “Without You” highlights an extraordinary career and is essential listening for his legions of fans. Songs like “Love’s Lost in Translation” blends Philip Hamilton's mellifluous voice with romance and angst in an exotic, world music setting. Long-time fans may recognize parts of “The Night Is Ours”, which is a completely re-written version of Special EFX’s 1982 signature song “Sambuca Nights”. Fans will also be entranced with “Hushabye”, which was originally released as the instrumental “Sweet Surrender” but has been transformed with the addition of the soulful vocals of Will Brock. And for George Jinda fans, the tune “Man with a Drum” captures his original percussion sounds.

Talented virtuosos Jeff Lorber, Karen Briggs and Lao Tizer are featured on tracks that may become the “new” classics for Special EFX.

“Legendary keyboardist Jeff Lorber is a brilliant musical collaborator on 'Mountina Jameroon'. I’m excited to have his high intensity electric jazz flavorings on the new Special EFX CD,” says Chieli.

“I brought Karen Briggs into the project after hearing her amazing violin work on Yanni’s Live at the Acropolis,” explains Chieli. “She takes the violin to another dimension on our songs ‘Lakeside’ and ‘Wonderboy.’”

Special guest Lao Tizer brings his powerful piano vibe to the tracks “Bacchanalia” and “Afterglow”.

“I discovered Lao when he was 19 years old and we’ve been collaborating ever since. I knew his high-energy, unique piano work would bring another level of emotion to these Special EFX songs,” says Chieli.

Showcasing truly incredible musicianship, Special EFX’s captivating jazz fusion textures and progressive new age twists take listeners on an uplifting musical ride they’ll never forget. “Without You” showcases the band’s special gift for combining harmony, feeling, and flawless technique with remarkable passion.

Chieli & co’s musical versatility and extraordinary abilities have made them a favorite among jazz fans worldwide. Aside from writing and performing his own music, Chieli shares his guitar brilliance throughout the entertainment world. He has recorded and performed with top artists Celine Dion, Lionel Richie, Jennifer Lopez, Jewel, Mark Anthony, Jessica Simpson, Anastasia, Marion Meadows, Alex Bugnon, Nestor Torres, and many others.

Renowned in the jazz and pop world, Chieil is also a gifted television and film composer. He has won 3 Emmy Awards and been nominated 10 times for his eclectic compositional work for CBS’ The Guiding Light. He has also written theme music for Good Morning America, Bloomberg Radio, and Access Hollywood. His music can also be heard on the soundtracks of the films Bowfinger, Legally Blonde, Panic, and others.

On the Broadway scene, Chieli composed and produced the soundtrack for the Broadway Across America/Nickelodeon live stage productions of the hit TV series, Dora the Explorer, which have toured internationally. He also wrote and recorded original songs for the live stage production of Thomas & Friends Live™. Chieli’s popular song "Kickin' it Hard" is featured as the prime hold music on Verizon's conference audio bridge system.

Chieli Minucci was born in Huntington, Long Island, but grew up in nearby Forest Hills, Queens, where he still resides. His father (composer Ulpio Minucci, who wrote songs for Bing Crosby, Julius LaRosa, and Nat King Cole) introduced him to the piano at age six and encouraged him to become a composer. Now Chieli is passing this love on to his own son who is a budding young bassist. His daughter, by the way, is also a musician. Three generations of musical Minucci’s….Look out! Chieli fell in love with the guitar at age eight, a love-affair that continues today. He formed his first group, Taurus, at age 13 and got his introduction to jazz while attending Ithaca College in upstate New York. After college he gained some invaluable on-the-gig training with the NYC-based R&B band BB & Q. He then met percussionist George Jinda at a jam session and they formed Special EFX in 1982, recording for GRP, JVC and ultimately Shanachie as they helped chart the evolution of contemporary jazz. Minucci also recorded three solo projects for JVC before signing with Shanachie in 2000. His previous Shanachie releases, Sweet on You and Night Grooves both spawned top charting Smooth Jazz radio singles (with “Cruise Control” from Special EFX’s Butterfly staying at #1 an incredible five weeks and "My Girl Sunday" from Sweet on You hitting #2, and more recently, “Kickin’ It Hard,” from Night Grooves staying on the charts for a record breaking 33 weeks!) Clearly Chieli has arrived as a solo artist. Chieli also has earned several Emmy Award nominations for his music on the long-running NBC daytime drama "The Guiding Light"(winning one in 1998) and has worked with Gotham Music on their productions of CDs geared toward such niche directions as extreme sports, horror music and orchestral music for the post-9/ll project Patriotism & Explosive Drama. In 2003 Special EFX released the well-received Party which featured the popular single “Ladies Man.” In 2005 Chieli Minucci released Got it Goin’ On which spawned the top five hit “The Juice.” It was followed by the DVD A Night with Chieli Minucci & Special EFX which showcased a high-octane performance recorded at the world famous Harbourfront Centre Theatre in Toronto.



to write a review


Light Up the Night!!
This live performance of Special EFX/Cheili Minucci is a real treat for me. Since I have not seen this group in person this is the next best thing. Although there in no audience to be found, everything that is seen and heard in this DVD is right in front of you. Cool versions of Daybreak, Cruise Control and impromptu guitar intros by Chieli keep this going strong and will make a fan out of anyone into smooth jazz/jazz fusion. This DVD is a real treat, pick it up !!