Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Tasteful Orchestrations On Monophonic Synthesizers & Great Songwriting

Gino In Atlantic City 1999

Canadian singer songwriter, Gino Vannelli wore many hats. Composer, vocalist, conductor, etc.
His father was a big band musician and the "big band" sound is evident in Gino's music. Gino's brother, Joe, arranged and played keyboards for most of his recording career. At a time when polyphonic synthesizers were non-existent, like Wendy Carlos, Joe overdubbed multiple parts to create a texture of sound that was remarkably coherent and full, often adding fat analog warmth to real live orchestras used in the recordings. Jazz, Rock, Funk and Swing are all spoken here like a native tongue but fused in a metal of glorious colors unlike any other.

As in the music of Steely Dan, (who will undoubtedly be making an appearance in this column before too long) I hear a bit of Count Basie and Duke Ellington luking in the background. It was Herb Alpert (The A in A&M records) that signed Gino to his 1st recording contract. We spotlight this work for its independent spirit and it's vision that was contrary to the flavor of the day.
Gino now lives and works in The Netherlands (2007) and is collaborating with Dutch Jazz pianist Michiel Borstlap. They are working on a new CD, so keep your ears peeled. Gino will be appearing at the North Sea Jazz Festival, Rotterdam, Netherlands on Saturday, July 14, 2007.
Tickets available here.

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