When JGT checked in, Chieli was poised to begin his first tour of the year to support the new album, “All Stars” – his 31st release!
I’m pretty excited about this one since it’s the fruition of the all-star lineup I’ve been touring with the last couple of years. I was able to have almost every guest artist that toured with Special EFX – Maysa, Regina Carter, Nelson Rangell, Eric Marienthal, Gerald Veasley, Lao Tizer – to name a few. I also had the pleasure of working with my old friend and EFX alumni, bassist Fernando Saunders, who was a big part of our sound back in the late 80s & 90s!
The new CD has some familiar styles on it, of course, but it also has the added flash of a horn section on a couple of key pieces. Check out a quick clip of the recording session –
The core of the CD is performed by my longtime bandmates – Jerry Brooks on bass, Jay Rowe on keys/piano, and Joel Rosenblatt on drums. There’s 1 solo guitar piece that demonstrates the beauty of my custom Scharpach Sunbird model, the nylon hybrid I use onstage.
Besides the new Special EFX CD release I’ve recently performed a few cameos on some of my label-mate’s songs – Oli Silk, Nicholas Cole, and Skinny Hightower all wrote songs which I had the pleasure of adding my guitars to. In addition, I had the honor of contributing my own arrangement/production of “Little Drummer Boy” to the Trippin N Rhythm holiday CD release. As I write this to you I’m in the middle of a whole different kind of composing/producing project – writing and recording the tracks for the Gotham Music Production Library’s (Universal) latest political disc. This is more of an orchestral meets contemporary kind of project, with acoustic guitars interspersed throughout. It’s been a very varied and eclectic kind of year for me!