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OceanlinerNotes Artist Interviews
OL:
We'd like to Welcome the dynamic
Chieli Minucci, Grammy Winning Guitarist and Composer
  & much more, to the
OL Oceanliner Notes Weekly
feature
as our Special Guest Artist!

OL:
Welcome Chieli, and thank you for giving us and all of the OL Site Visitors, for what will be a 7-part Interview on the Oceanliner Notes Weekly Series,  for the entire week of August 8, 2010. Once again, thank you and welcome...  

Chieli Minucci:
It's good to be here.  Thank you! 

OL:
Your latest CD release "Without You," with your one and only Special EFX smooth jazz famed Group, is eclectically terrific and performed to a beautiful frenzied perfection of so many blending sounds of jazz and funk, Chieli!  

OL:
You & Special EFX [Band Members:
Lionel Cordew
- drums
 Jerry Brooks - bass
Jay Rowe
- keyboards, piano
 Philip Hamilton - percussion...]
for years, have been wowing music lovers, worldwide, with something there for everyone...  

OL:
As we listen to some of the highlighted tracks samples from the "Without You" double disc CD set, tell us Chieli, how long have you been working on this latest project?  

Chieli Minucci:
Well, I started formulating the idea back in 2009.  The band performed a lot and there was a lot of musical inspiration floating around, so I took the guys into the studio in the fall of 2009 and recorded the first 6 songs.  All in all it was about 6 months of work, start to finish.....

OL:
For the Chieli Minucci & Special EFX fans, which are endless; there is a story time-line CD Booklet inside the "Without You" double disc CD, where You take the reader on the Groups' beginning journey to 25 years later. What an extensive and impressive documenting you have provided for the audience.  

OL:
 During the course of this 7 Day Interview, we look forward to pulling highlights from this wonderful CD Booklet. Meanwhile, let us in on the making of the "You Make Me Blue" track that you composed?  

Chieli Minucci:
Glad you seem to like that one! 
 It's a remake / re-arrangement of an older tune, called "You Make Me Smile" from way back in the early 90's!  This new CD has 5 remakes, as well as 16 new compositions. 
I have a wonderful violinist,
Alan Grubman,
on this track..  

Chieli Minucci:
The idea was to do a funky, bluesy song with a strong melody and feature the sound of the guitar blended in with the violin.  This song sounds great when we perform it live in concert!  

OL:
The fusion of R&B and Smooth Jazz on this track is clear that You like to mix it up,
and successfully so. What's the style of music that you listened to mostly as a youngster?
  
Chieli Minucci:
 At first it was a mix of rock and R & B, right off the radio (WABC, WMCA), back in the days when all styles were aired on the same station... (the original Top 40!)  Also, I was heavily influenced by the songs from the Woodstock LP that came out in 1969.
 Sly Stone, Jimi Hendrix, Santana, Mountain,
Ten Years After...
& many others.  I liked the rhythm grooves, and I liked the amazing guitar playing I heard.  Mostly I was attracted to the raw energy of that music.
  
OL:
What was the first song that you heard,
that said to You
Hey, I want to play the Guitar like that?

Chieli Minucci:
There are many songs that got to me! Probably "Too Many Fish in the Sea" by the Marvelletes?  It wasn't their...
The Young Rascals..?
  I don't remember so far back too well, but I somehow remember a blazing fuzzbox guitar solo on it. 
Also, "Younger Girl" by the Critters...
"I'm Going Home"
by Ten Years After.    

Chieli Minucci:
That was an insane air-guitar song for me! 
I thought it was my destiny to try to actually play that!  There were many others... Cream's, "Sunshine of Your Love,"
Jimi Hendrix', "Isabella"
from the Woodstock 2 LP... many more..  

OL:
Chieli, your very original multi-dimensional extraordinary Guitar playing style, allows you to cross over to many genres of music.
What is your favorite genre of music,
or your top favorites?  

Chieli Minucci:
I like so many kinds of music, but if I had to nail it down; probably 'progressive rock', which is everything from English based pop (Genesis, Procol Harum, Yes) to fusion rock jazz (Chick Corea's, Return to Forever, Frank Zappa, Mahavishnu Orchestra)...
but deep down inside it is the Beatles
who won my heart very early on. 
No one comes close...  

OL:
On the track, "Love's Lost In Translation," you feature EFX Band Member Phil Hamilton on Vocals, which as a whole, this track has a true crossover Adult Contemporary appeal. Was that the direction for this song?   

Chieli Minucci:
I was trying to create an exotic, 'foreign' vibe, with a lyric depicting a tragic sentiment of a desperately hopeless love.  Philip's voice and delivery were right on it!  We've never recorded a song like this before.
  
OL:
 A wonderful common thread runs throughout the overall sound of your recordings; and that is that your writing style is always exploring new ways to render the music. It allows the listener to dream while listening. What place do you tap into in getting this effect,
when writing music?

Chieli Minucci:
Just my own life's experiences. Good and bad, up and down.. I write music at all sorts of times.  I believe the energy comes from keeping that channel open, combined with just showing up to do the work.  It's like eating good food - you want more as you start.  Why?  Because it just tastes so good!  (like pizza...)

OL:
When you first picked up the guitar and started playing, what was that moment like?

Chieli Minucci:
I don't really remember! It was when I was about 6. Ha-ha!  It was an acoustic guitar...
I remember that.  I do remember my fascination with electric guitars and cars from age 7 though!  Those Gibson and Fender catalogues were often seen in my hands...
  
OL:
What's your favorite choice of guitar instrument that you play with, now?

Chieli Minucci:
 For live concerts I almost always use the same 2 instruments - a 1984 Pensa-Suhr custom electric solid body, and a 1985 Gibson Chet-Atkins acoustic solid body.  I have a large guitar collection so I have a nice variety of acoustics and electrics for recordings.  

OL:
When You & Special EFX are in concert mode, you have over 25 years of music to choose from, what goes into picking what's on your 'live' concert set list?  

Chieli Minucci:
A combination of what sounds best for the guys in the band, combined with some consideration of what the fans might like to hear, as well as an offering of some
new material.     

OL:
Let's talk about the Band Members of
Special EFX...Jerry Brooks on Bass?
  
Chieli Minucci:
I met Jerry a long time ago.  He's a lovely guy, very spiritual, and humorous as well!
 His musicianship is top-notch...one of the funkiest bassists in NYC, and with the most amazing chops, has played with a long list of stars - Destiny's Child, Chaka Khan...
many others.  

OL:
Lionel Cordew on Drums?

Chieli Minucci:
Jerry's perfect rhythm keeping partner.  Lionel's been on our CDs and on tour with us for over 15 years.  A superb, A-list NYC drummer!  A real friend in my life.  Has played with Mike Stern, Jeff Lorber,
Cassandra Wilson...
many, many others.

OL:
Jay Rowe on Piano / Keyboards?

Chieli Minucci:
The busiest guy you'll ever meet, Jay plays constantly, whether with us, or in-between, with his own band, or Ken Navarro,
Marion Meadows, The Sax pack...
others..  I've never met anyone with such a vast musical vocabulary!  

OL:
Philip Hamilton on Percussion / Vocals?

Chieli Minucci:
Philip is a recording artist unto himself. 
He's got a unique voice in this industry...
a special approach to writing music.
 I compare his voice to a mellow cello, melodious and rich in texture.  Like all the other guys, he's been part of this group for over 15 years. 

Chieli Minucci:
 He's also been seen and heard with his own group, Voices,
as well as the Pat Metheny band,
many others..  

OL:
The touring shows must indeed be special. How does it feel when you're introducing new recorded music to a 'live' audience for the very first time?  

Chieli Minucci:
Nerve-wracking!  Ha!  No, but exciting!
 It's just like when I was a teenager, watching their reactions, plus trying to get the song played well!   

OL:
Thank you Chieli. We look forward tomorrow in Part 2 of this 7 part Oceanliner Notes Weekly Series, as Smooth Jazz Guitarist...Chieli Minucci shares more liner notes on the making of the Chieli Minucci & Special EFX "WITHOUT YOU" CD,
and also his solo CD "SWEET ON YOU."
Thank you very much Chieli, for coming on as our Special Guest Artist.
Chieli,
is there any music commentary you'd like to share with the OL viewers, as we conclude this Interview 1 of 7 segment?  

Chieli Minucci:
Only that I hope this new music lifts you,
and inspires you!  It's a gift in my life to share what was freely passed through me, to you! 

OL:
Thank you Chieli. We'll see you tomorrow!
And thank you all for visiting
OL's Oceanliner Notes Weekly!


OL:
Welcome Back, Chieli. It's good to hang out with You again, this being Part 2 of our 7 day Interview for OL's Oceanliner Notes Weekly Series. Thank you once again.
From where we last left off... Before we delve into more of the deep and eclectic sounds on your latest Chieli Minucci & Special EFX "WITHOUT YOU" CD & other classic tracks recorded throughout your career...on this segment,
let's go back to where it all started for You...coming from a musical Family, with your Father, Ulpio Minucci, Composer of the famed classics like "Felicia" and
"A Thousand Thoughts of You,"
as sung by the great Nat "King" Cole. Music seemed like a natural path for You. Tell us of your Dad's influence on You as a young Musician?  

Chieli Minucci:
  I grew up in a home full of music, melody, and song.  From the time I can remember
 I can still see my father sitting at the piano, pondering over a musical phrase he was writing.  It was as if I knew where he would go with his melodies so carefully was
I listening, even though I might've been playing with toys, or whatever
a little kid does.  

Chieli Minucci:
I really believe that I learned about writing music from this early experience.  Later on my father encouraged me to write freely, uncensored, with abandon - for no other purpose than to simply explore creativity.
 To my amazement this open attitude has been with me ever since.  

OL:
Would you say that your Dad's music played a key role in your creative openness to all kinds of music, as it relates to You being both a composer and a performer?  

Chieli Minucci:
Absolutely!  Underneath it all lies a strong foundation in songwriting and compositional form.  My father wasn't a performer in the same way that I have become, but his influences translated to the stage for me anyway.  To be able, and willing, to merely get up on a stage and play my instrument, improvise music, group-create with the other musicians - this is a kind of freedom that is the direct result of my early childhood experiences observing my father openly writing music all the time. 
(That piano was right in the middle
of the living room!).  

OL:
What is your favorite composition of your Dad's original works?  

Chieli Minucci:
I am prejudiced, what can I say?  I'm his son after all and am a big fan! There are many.  But I do love "Love is Always Young," which I eventually recorded & released myself
(On 'Got It Goin' On').  Also,
"Did I Thank You For Being My Woman"
(unreleased)  and his most well known song, "Domani"...a classic!

OL:
You started working as a Professional Musician, as early as a young teenager, paying your dues, working with a NY Band called 'Taurus' ...gigging all over the New York area...from local bars, to parties, and even to Italian Cruise Ship gigs. Take us back there for a moment, if you will?  

Chieli Minucci:
Just for a moment?  Ha-ha!  Those were the greatest times ever!  Taurus was the local neighborhood teen band and we played 'top 40 music', plus originals.  The other guitarist's father had a position with Italian Lines Crusies (big ships then - the Michaelangelo, The Leonardo da Vinci,
The Raffaelo)
and secured us jobs performing on them during the holidays from school.

Chieli Minucci:
These were every-night gigs, about 4 hours of music... So between the ages of 14 & 17 I'd already played on 7 cruises, as well as many, many bars, clubs, and dances.  I developed a real appetite for music and travel, as well as a few other things.  Those were the days!!  

OL:
Chieli, You had the best of both worlds.
First jumping right into your gigs, performing with the 'Taurus' Band and then also taking You and your guitar on the road, enriching your music skills at
Ithaca College, NY
.
What role did College play in your
 musical growth?  

Chieli Minucci:
A big role.  I majored in classical guitar that first year, as well as studied all the musical disciplines - theory, solfeggio, music history, arranging, composition, etc...It was fantastic.  There were many opportunities to perfomer in and out of school.  

Chieli Minucci:
Ithaca had about 40 bars downtown and around.  By the time I'd been there a few years, I was playing 4x/week.  And the new kinds of music I was exposed to were really different for me - jazz, fusion, even acoustic guitar-based music.

OL:
After College...coming back to the Big Apple, you started right off, performing with various bands in NYC Clubs and landed gigs with many superstars, like working with
Legend Eartha Kitt
for 2 years.
What was it like working with Eartha,
and how did you get the gig?  

Chieli Minucci:
I was called in by her musical director,
Tom Spahn,
a pianist.  I think I was about 24 or 25 at the time...right before I co-founded Special EFX with George Jinda.  Eartha was a lovely woman to work with.  Easy going, fun, hilarious even, and what a talent!
  What an attitude! 
The band was excellent -
all NYC players.  Most of the music was 'cabare'' style, which is reminiscent of Broadway in presentation.  I was asked to play the guitar parts as if I was the orchestra.  

Chieli Minucci:
The MD was very detailed in his demands for musicality.  I learned a lot with this act.  Also, many of our shows were for large gay audiences.  I never realized that Eartha was the diva of the divas!  Ha-ha!  I'll never forget 'Titanic Night' at Studio 54 in NYC! 
We were 5 straight young musicians with suits and bow ties performing in a devil's lair of writhing, oiled men!  The smell of 'poppers' everywhere, I was lucky to escape to the limo ride home with my life...
(and my purity!).

OL:
And speaking of working with top singing Stars, although we all know You Chieli, as the great Guitarist that you are, but also as a songwriter and performer, you've worked with your share of  Pop Vocal Superstars such as... Celine Dion, Lionel Richie,
Jennifer Lopez, Jewel
& Marc Anthony,
to name a few. Wow, share some of that magic with us, Chieli?  

Chieli Minucci:
The gigs I did with these superstars all emanated from one recording session I did for the late  Arif Mardin. 
It was a Chaka Khan session. 
I had a nice acoustic solo on
"Your Love Is All I Know."
  That opened up other doors, eventually getting me work with producer Rick Wake, who produced many of the artists you listed.  At first they were all recording sessions, playing electric and acoustic guitars on all sort of songs.

Chieli Minucci:
Usually the artists themselves would not be present at these 'tracking' sessions. Only once, Rob Thomas (Matchbox 20) hung out as we recorded a song of his for
Marc Anthony.
  Eventually I was asked to perform onstage with Celine Dion (youtube.com/watch?v=phoMkCx6BxI)
on the David Letterman show.  And later on, with Jewel.  Definitely a thrilling diversion for a jazz-fusion lover like me!  But music is music, and when you play the guitar,
you learn to play it all!  

OL:
When writing music for Pop tracks; is your process approach different from when you're writing music for Special EFX?  

Chieli Minucci:
Not really.   It's all the same in the end - melodies, chords, rhythms.  I guess that the arrangements vary, as do the instrumentation, but the basic idea of creation, of composition, is approached the same way. It's like having a blank canvas with an endless collection of paint colors to choose from....  

OL:
And how special it was also to be nominated for the Contemporary Jazz Group for Special EFX, as your band first formed in 1982. If you can please share with the new audience, the shining CD that brought you this
Grammy Nomination?  

Chieli Minucci:
"Modern Manners" was our 2nd release, our first USA release on the then-new
(GRP Records),
and we were nominated for mixing/engineering.  Not surprising, because although we were unknown at the time, our engineer, Paul Wickliffe,
was (and still is) one of the best audio engineers around.  I was his co-pilot, although I was technically the producer of that CD.  The nomination came as a complete surprise at the time.  Attending the award ceremony was pretty thrilling!

OL:
Thank you very much Chieli, for coming on as our Special Guest Artist. Is there any music commentary you'd like to share with the viewers, in concluding this OL Interview
2 of 7 segment?

Chieli Minucci:
Only that I hope you are all given the gift of peace, health, and happiness today! 
Thank you!  

OL:
Thank you Chieli. We'll see you tomorrow!
And thank you all for visiting
OL's Oceanliner Notes Weekly!


OL:
Welcome Back, Chieli. It's nice to have You on again, this being Part 3 of our 7 day Interview for OL's Oceanliner Notes Weekly Series. Thank you once again.
Back to your latest CD Projects
 "WITHOUT YOU" with Special EFX and a favorite of ours, among others,
"SWEET ON YOU,"
one of your solo CD's.   

OL:
 We also love "The Night Is Ours," a refreshing signature track on the
"WITHOUT YOU"
CD, as it first appeared on your 1982 "Sambuca Nights" CD... and now in your latest CD Booklet liner notes, you say that... 'this is Special EFX at its purest'.   

OL:
So over the years of performing this song 'live', naturally you've added more melody to it to arrive full circle with it?  

Chieli Minucci:
The new version of this piece has been partially rewritten.  The entire intro section is a spinoff of the material I added to it long ago for live performance purposes.  so it's high intensity now!  I believe it is the quintessential Special EFX composition - 
melodic, percussive, improvisational, and...'world' sounding, particularly with Philip's vocalese.  

OL:
Across the board, the Chieli Minucci & Special EFX tracks are so well mixed, given all of the wonderful sounds that come together in your music, Chieli. What's your mixing process and at what point do you know when the mix is 'in the can' and the track is ready for the world?  

Chieli Minucci:
In the can, eh?  Ha-ha..  I like that!
  I've been working with the same mix engineer for all these years. 
Paul Wickliffe,
ex-owner of the famous Skyline Studios in NYC,
has been my co-pilot all along. 
In a general way here's how it works -
Paul
mixes each song as he hears them. 
I will make adjustments until we both agree on the ideas.  It's pretty simple,
provided we both agree,
which we obviously do!  

Chieli Minucci:
We use pro-Tools nowadays, although the technical method for mixing has changed over the years.  First good old 2" tape, then ADATs, and now, all hard-drive digital.  If you compare the LPs to the CDs, to the mp3s, you can hear it's all consistent.  That's because the creative/production team has been the same for the entire 25+ years!  

OL:
Your "SWEET ON YOU" Solo CD is really spectacular! As hot the Summer has been, your "Endless Summer" track is just what music lovers need for pretty much for any season. This track is a staple of Smooth Jazz in itself, cool, light upbeat and fun!  

OL:
...and yet another dimension of your cool playing style, gives the track a cool breeze ease. Is this one of your favorites on your solo CD.   

Chieli Minucci:
Absolutely!  It is a kind of 'signature song' for me.  Once, some years ago when my father was still alive, he commented (in his impassioned Italian-accented style) how the song was, "....so you...this melody is yours...no one has written music like this..."  

Chieli Minucci:
 I told him I'd always wanted to hear that sort of compliment from him, all my life,
but now that he was finally saying it,
I didn't believe him!  Ha-ha!

OL:
What is the overall style, or sound on your Solo Projects that you reach for most in your music and is your recording approach different from that of your Group Projects?  

Chieli Minucci:
At first I tried to emphasize more guitar-oriented arrangements for my solo projects.  I wanted to feature a side of my guitar playing that was more aggressive.  In the end I only wrote and recorded what I was feeling at the time, so in fact both solo and group projects are very similar, at least to my ears. The recording process is actually the same for both solo and group projects.  

OL:
Your writing style is so versatile, eclectic and very original. Who are some of your favorite Songwriters, or Composers?  

Chieli Minucci:
There are so many!  Lennon & McCartney, Cole Porter, George Gershwin,
Chick Corea, Pat Metheny,
Igor Stravinsky, Gustav Mahler,
Claude Debussy, Maurice Ravel,
Elton John, John McLaughlin,

& many more...  

OL:
Thank you very much Chieli, for coming on as our Special Guest Artist.
Is there any music commentary you'd like to share with the viewers, as we conclude this OL Interview 3 of 7 segment?

Chieli Minucci:
Well, after thinking about how eclectic my own tastes in listening... I can only wish the same pleasure for others... Variety is the spice of life!  There's no doubt in my mind!

OL:
Thank you Chieli. We'll see you tomorrow!
And thank you all for visiting
OL's Oceanliner Notes Weekly!


OL:
Welcome Back, Chieli. It's nice to have You on again, this being Part 4 of our 7 day Interview for OL's Oceanliner Notes Weekly Series. We're at the segment Interview feature, where we introduce a 'one word'  Interview question to You, Chieli, and if you can please playback a One-word Commentary Note for the OL Visitors, that would be special! Okay, here we go!

OL:
Cool?
Chieli Minucci:
Totally!

OL:
Blue?
Chieli Minucci:
Sad! 

OL:
Passion?
Chieli Minucci:
Love!

OL:
Stage?
Chieli Minucci:
Excitement!

OL:
Travel?
Chieli Minucci:
More!

OL:
String?
Chieli Minucci:
Guitar 

OL:
Notes?
Chieli Minucci:
Many

OL:
For?
Chieli Minucci:
Real 

OL:
Rhythm?
Chieli Minucci:
Blues

OL:
Success?
Chieli Minucci:
Gratitude 

OL:
Thank you very much Chieli, for coming on as our Special Guest Artist.
Is there any music commentary you'd like to share with the viewers, in concluding this OL Interview 4 of 7 segment?

Chieli Minucci:
Wonderful! (one word only, remember?)

OL:
Thank you, Chieli. We look forward tomorrow in Part 5 of this 7 part Oceanliner Notes Weekly Interview, as Smooth Jazz Guitarist Chieli Minucci takes us All Around The World in One day...To his favorite places and venues to play, while on tour & the various Guest fellow Artists that he's performed with...on  the next segment.
And thank you all for visiting
OL's Oceanliner Notes Weekly!
...

OL:
Welcome Back, Chieli. It's nice to have You on again, this being Part 5 of our 7 day Interview for OL's Oceanliner Notes Weekly Series. We're at the segment Interview feature, where we get to go with You, Chieli, Around The World in One Day...!
Tour Locations & performing 'live' with other Guest Artists on your shows!  

OL:
Chieli, literally, this week of the
 OL Interview, you're off to do some 'live' show in Norway. How exciting!
Where in Norway, are you playing?  

Chieli Minucci:
It's in a western coastal city called Haugesund (where I am right now, actually, typing this!)  On the map it's directly across the sea from the UK.   

OL:
In general, what is the audience vibe like across the waters, when you're performing?

Chieli Minucci:
They're as enthusiastic as the American crowds!  The large number of music and art fans here came specifically to
enjoy the music!  

OL:
On many of the Jazz Festivals in the States this summer, you've teamed up with other Guest Artists...Violinst Karen Briggs, Keyboardist Lao Tizer & many others.
What a great line-up,
it must be quite a show? 

Chieli Minucci:
Yes!  The TIZER band is very high-energy.
 We also perform some of my own music,
as well as Karen's and of course, Lao's.
 Lao
has been developing his sound steadily and it's really a lot of fun to shape the music's presentation and to
perform together.
  
OL:
And also on your "WITHOUT YOU" Chieli Minucci & Special EFX CD, you feature
Lao Tizer
Karen Briggs on a few tracks? 

Chieli Minucci:
Lao performed acoustic grand piano on "Bacchanalia" & "Afterglow," really pretty, delicate playing!   Karen was on the super-high-energy, "Wonderboy," as well as
"Lakeside."
  Total raw violin energy! 

OL:
Tell us Chieli, what so far, is one of the most exciting 'live' shows you've ever performed on, to this date?  

Chieli Minucci:
Perhaps our show a few years ago in Santiago, Chile.  It was a huge crowd, in the middle of the city, in a big park. 
They treated us as if we were rock stars or something. It was totally unexpected!
  We didn't realize that we'd become
so popular there.  

OL:
What is your favorite track, or your top favorite tracks on your "WITHOUT YOU" CD?  

Chieli Minucci:
Probably the opener, "Quivering." It's just a new kind of piece for me, and it really shows the new direction of some of the writing on the CD.  Also, "Lakeside," which was co-written by pianist Ben Carinci. To me, this is classic Special EFX, a world piece with vocals and plenty of improvising, as well as Karen's violin additions!  

OL:
Thank you very much Chieli, for coming on as our Special Guest Artist. Is there any music commentary you'd like to share with the viewers, in concluding this OL Interview
5 of 7 segment?  

Chieli Minucci:
Just that I wish everyone reading this a joyful day, and to share that happiness with others!  

OL:
Thank you, Chieli. We look forward tomorrow in Part 6 of this 7 part Oceanliner Notes Weekly Interview, as we cover some highlights of Smooth Jazz Guitarist Chieli Minucci's extensive career in Radio, Television & Film. ..on  the next segment.
And thank you all for visiting
OL's Oceanliner Notes Weekly!
...

OL:
Welcome Back, Chieli. It's nice to have You on again, this being Part 6 of our 7 day Interview for OL's Oceanliner Notes Weekly Series. We're at the segment Interview feature, as we get your take on the various media's of Radio, Film and Television,
as it relates to your career!

OL:
In the days of the famed CD101.9 Smooth Jazz NY Radio Station, there was a nice mixture of Smooth Jazz and R&B. Do you feel that it played a role in the art of crossover music appeal in Radio airplay formats?
  
Chieli Minucci:
Absolutely!  At first most of these types of stations (at first called NAC for New Adult Contemporary) played a wide variety of music that was generally supposed to appeal to a certain age group.  You'd hear everything from instrumental music to vocals.  It was a kind of 'adult' top 40, but it had jazz mixed in!  It's everything from Special EFX to Kenny G, from Chick Corea (yes, even his music!!) to Spyro Gyra, from Sade to
Bobby Caldwell,
even some Grateful Dead was thrown in on a few stations! These were the best of times because it opened the door for many band, including my own, to play in cities that normally would have only known about us had we toured there first. 
Radio airplay made ALL the difference
for many years. 

OL:
Congratulations on the music of Chieli & Special EFX, being a part of the music rotation airplay on CD101.9. In general,
how does it feel when you hear your music being played on the Radio?  

Chieli Minucci:
It's very flattering.  I still get a thrill from it, even though there isn't music network jazz radio left in the USA... 

OL:
Are there any Artists that you'd like to work with now, or in the near future?  

Chieli Minucci:
Sure.  I've always admired the music of Genesis, or even Billy Joel.  In classic rock/pop there are some great guitar parts to play!  In jazz I've always admired pianist/composer Chick Corea, as well as saxophonist Kenny Garrett.  Those would be great seats to land at some point. 

OL:
What advice would you give the beginning young Guitarist,
on getting started in the Music Business? 

Chieli Minucci:
First, study and learn your instrument... develop a repertoire of good music to play.  then get out there and play at gigs as often as possible. Play, play, play!  Be heard and seen as often as possible.  There's no better way to connect with people.  

OL:
You've written music for Television Shows from 'Good Morning America' to 'Access Hollywood', as a result, receiving your share of Emmy Nominations and winning three. Congratulations! Also contributing music to the 'Bowfinger' and 'Legally Blonde' soundtracks.   

OL:
When writing music for Television and Film media's, do the Producers give you a blueprint or idea of the type of music they need, or is it an open canvas for your creative songwriting dimensions?  

Chieli Minucci:
In my story it was more of an open canvas.
 I supplied many, many 'cues' to the producers, who then picked what worked best.  In the instances you listed there was no sync-to-picture work involved.  This is common nowadays.  Many movies and TV shows use 'music beds' as backdrops to the visual action, as opposed to custom-written synchronized music.      

OL:
What's your favorite Film?

Chieli Minucci:
You mean, films...?  The Godfather (series), Big Fish, The Matrix...& many more.
 Movies are one of my side hobbies.  

OL:
What music are you working on, now?  

Chieli Minucci:
I just completed a 30-song acoustic guitar-only project. In addition my percussionist/vocalist from Special EFX, Philip Hamilton, brought me a project which we're presently collaborating on.  It's a modern dance video created by NYC choreographer Gabrielle Lansner, which we're scoring original music to, fully synchronized to video.
 I love this sort of work.  

OL:
Thank you very much Chieli, for coming on as our Special Guest Artist. Is there any music commentary you'd like to share with the viewers, in concluding this OL Interview
 6 of 7 segment?  

Chieli Minucci:
Back to your question about advice for young musicians and composers.  Just keep that 'channel' open, and try to experience as much as possible to stimulate the creative process - healthy living,
traveling, sharing ideas with others - these are the basis for creating good music.
 It's working for me, and if I can do it, believe me, you can, too!  

OL:
Thank you, Chieli. We look forward tomorrow in Part 7 of this 7 part Oceanliner Notes Weekly Interview, as Smooth Jazz Guitarist Chieli Minucci gives us his closing music liner notes on Jazz Fusion Today!...as
OL
concludes the Interview with this extraordinary Artist ..on  the next segment. And thank you all for visiting
OL's Oceanliner Notes Weekly!
...

OL:
Welcome Back, Chieli. It's nice to have You on again, this being Part 7 of our 7 day Interview for OL's Oceanliner Notes Weekly Series. As we have reached the closing segment of this Interview feature, OL would first like to thank You, Chieli, for going the distance with us this week, on many highlights of your long-standing and exciting music career. It's been great interviewing You for the week...!  

Chieli Minucci:
 It's been a pleasure, thank YOU!   

OL:
Keep the music going, Chieli, for a long time to come. We love it! For this Interview, if you will, please give us your closing liner note thoughts on Jazz Fusion today and your closing music commentary quote? Thank you.  

Chieli Minucci:
Jazz 'fusion' means many things nowadays.  Where once it perhaps exclusively referred to what Miles Davis was doing in the 1960's,
 or what John McLaughlin's Mahavishnu Orchestra, Chick Corea's
'Return to Forever',
or even
Weather Report
(and many, many more...) were playing today, it really refers to a multitude of varied artists who are enjoying the vast possibilites of combinations of music styles.  

Chieli Minucci:
There is a whole wave of Beatle-bred writers who've mixed pop with Jazz, as well as a new generation of classically trained players who've mixed their stylings with Jazz forms.  It's really endless.  If you're a real music aficionado, like me, there's been no better time than right now for variety.  

OL:
There are so many dimensions to this wonderful Artist's career, that it would take an entire series to just tap into the musical world of Guitarist Chieli Minucci...  

OL:
For over 25 years of music to focus in on...
& for the music he has yet to write and perform, both Solo and with Special EFX, there are no limits with Chieli,
and we here at OL and abroad,  
look forward to the music that lies ahead before him and are all grateful that he  has always shared his music with us! From all of your Solo CD's..."Sweet On You," 
"Night Grooves,"... "Got It Goin' On," "Travels,"
to the "East of the Sun."
All the best to You, Chieli...from east to west & everywhere else!

OL:
Thank you, to Smooth Jazz Guitarist
Chieli Minucci,
And thank you all for visiting OL's Oceanliner Notes Weekly!

Famed
Smooth Jazz Guitarist
CHIELI MINUCCI

ALL TRACK SAMPLES FROM THE 'WITHOUT YOU' CD - CHIELI MINUCCI & SPECIAL EFX
1. The Night Is Ours
2. You Make Me Blue
3. Prelude
4. Love
's Lost In Translation
5. July
6. Afterglow
7. Hushabye
8. Wonderboy
9. Electraglide
10. Man With A Drum
11. Twilight
Special Guest Artist Online Interview Feature...
CHIELI MINUCCI
FAMED SMOOTH JAZZ GUITARIST
www.chielimusic.com
Original  OL Records Artist Interview: 8/8/10 - 8/14/10


OL Quote Pick of the Guest Artist's Interview!

"Just my own life's experiences. Good and bad, up and down...
I write music at all sorts of times. I believe the energy comes from keeping that channel open, combined with just showing up
to do the work.
It's like eating good food - you want more as you start. Why?  Because it just tastes so good!
(like pizza...)
"

...Chieli Minucci


'Without You' CD - Chieli Minucci & Special Efx
Chieli Minucci / Special EFX "Without You" CD
Chieli Minucci / Special EFX "Without You" CD