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Chieli Minucci & Special EFX at The Cutting Room January 21, 2014

Posted by Mike C. in Jazz, Media, Music, Personal, Photography, Travel.

For the second time in three nights, I was in the New York City borough of Manhattan for a concert.  Thursday, it was pianist Lisa Hilton at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall.  On Saturday, it was guitarist Chieli Minucci and his band Special EFX at The Cutting Room.  Thursday was acoustic.  Saturday was electronic.  But each were exciting and entertaining, not to mention my first time at each venue.

The Cutting Room was one block south and five blocks east of where I exited Penn Station’s LIRR Terminal.  Once there, I was directed to a room set back on the left.  It was dark with most of the light coming from the stage.  Most tables on facing the left side and center of the stage were full, but my girlfriend and I found an empty table close to the right end of the stage.  But whatever side of the stage we were facing, we were going to be treated to great music from a legendary band, celebrating their 30th anniversary in 2014.

Special EFX was led by co-founder Chieli Minucci on electric guitar:

Jay Rowe on keyboards:

David Mann on tenor saxophone…

…soprano saxophone…

…and flute:

Jerry Brooks on bass:

And, as best I could see him from my seat, Lionel Cordew on drums:

Unfortunately, I couldn’t see much more of Jerry and Lionel from my seat.  I probably could have taken shots from the right side of the stage behind the column that blocked my view, but I didn’t want to risk getting reprimanded.  To make up for the lack of pictures, I’m dipping into the archives with pics of them from Special EFX’s appearance at the Long Beach Jazz Festival in September 2012.

First, Jerry Brooks:

Next, Lionel Cordew:

Back on Saturday night, the band played eight songs:
1. Ballerina
Originally heard on: “Just Like Magic,” 1990

2. Courageous Cats
Originally heard on: “Jewels,” 1995 (Chieli solo album)

3. Cause We’ve Ended As Lovers
Originally heard on: “Renaissance,” 1996 (Chieli solo album)

4. Crazy Eights
Originally heard on: “Genesis,” 2013

5. Till the End of Time (preceded by Jay’s intro)
Originally heard on: “Genesis,” 2013

6. Kickin’ It Hard/Spain
“Kickin’ It Hard” originally heard on: “Night Grooves,” 2003 (Chieli solo album); “Spain” is a Return to Forever cover

7. Speak to Me (preceded by Chieli’s intro)
Originally heard on: “Masterpiece,” 1999

8. Bodybeat (preceded by Chieli and Jerry’s intro duet)
Originally heard on: “Body Language,” 1995

#6 and 7 featured occasional vocalization from Chieli.

Now that you’ve seen Jerry Brooks and Lionel Cordew, here are pictures of the rest of the band, starting with Chieli Minucci:

“Kickin’ It Hard” vocal:

Jay Rowe, seen here during his “Courageous Cats” solo:





It was Jay’s birthday, and Chieli had a present for him:

Jay’s “Till the End of Time” intro:

David Mann:

The last song (“Bodybeat”):


The bow:

As I wrote earlier, it was another night of great music from the legendary Chieli Minucci and Special EFX.  I hope to see them again soon.



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