(Trippin ’N’ Rhythm)
Guitarist Chieli Minucci assembles an A-list version of the contemporary-jazz powerhouse Special EFX for their latest release, Allstars (Trippin ’N’ Rhythm). Minucci and drummer/percussionist George Jinda started the group in 1982, but went their separate ways in 1995. Minucci returned to helm the group following Jinda’s death in 2001, continuing to tour and record under the Special EFX moniker. As they have since their inception, Special EFX attracts top jazz talent to their projects, and the new recording features notables such as trumpeter Tatum Greenblatt, saxophonist Eric Marienthal, violinist Regina Carter and percussionist Mino Cinélu. Minucci’s steamy blues funker “Mr. Marzipan” opens the album with heated riffs and an irresistible rhythm. The guitarist unleashes barbed-tone solos that dance atop the funky syncopation and interact with the horn section of saxophonist David Mann, trumpeters Greenblatt and Lin Rountree, and trombonist Mike Davis.