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The Pulse of Entertainment: Grammy Nominated Keyboardist Gail Jhonson Releases ‘Joy, Joy' Single, Prelude to ‘Jazz in Pink' Album

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"It's not complete. I just released the first single. I'm working on two more tracks now with Paul Jackson, Jr.," said Grammy nominated keyboardist Gail Jhonson about her solo project, "Jazz in Pink" (Shanachie Entertainment) due out this summer. Her label recently released the first single titled "Joy, Joy," featuring Kim Waters on sax.

Gail is the music director for famed Grammy winning guitarist Norman Brown. Her personal band is named Jazz in Pink, which is where the titled of the new album comes from.

"I have been working with Norman at least 20 years," Gail added. "I've written and produced my own thing since 2004."

Jhonson, a Philadelphia native, said that it was Norman Brown that hooked-her-up with his label Shanachie through Danny Weiss, the Vice President of Jazz and A&R.

"I'm debuting on Shanachie, but I started my career in 2004 with ‘Its About Time.' Then ‘Keep the Music Playing," and "Pearl' in 2009 - got the Grammy nomination," she told me.

Gail was a prodigy; she started performing professionally as a keyboardist at the age of 14. She earned a Bachelors Degree from Berklee College of Music and made herself a permanent presence in the Jazz circuit in Los Angeles. This allowed her to collaborate with legendary performers like Bobby Womack, Janet Jackson, Pink, Morris Day, Sheila E., Ray Parker Jr., Peabo Bryson and Patti Austin. She is fluent, as a musician, in Jazz (Smooth), R&B, Funk and Gospel.

"Jazz in Pink" will be her sixth solo project and her first project on the Shanachie imprint. The single debuted on the "Top 30 Billboard Contemporary Jazz Chart."

"I'm diffidently looking for a Grammy Award," she said, smilingly. "And the way things are going...their playing it all over the world. I said, ‘Well, look at that.' I like the record, didn't know everyone else would." 
www.Shananchie.com www.GailJhonson.com

The Pulse of Entertainment: Special EFX 'All Stars' Album Featuring Chieli Minucci is a Masterpiece 

By Eunice Moseley

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(February 11, 2020) - "The thing about this record that's different is I get to play with people that travel with me on the road, I wrote it with them in mind," said Grammy nominated Chieli Minucci, a Contemporary Jazz guitarist, about his new album February 14, 2020, Valentine's Day, release titled "All Stars" (Trippin N Rhythm Records) by his band Special EFX Featuring Chieli Minucci.

The Special EFX band features the vocals of Maysa Leak on the Hendrix cover "Little Wings". The band consist of Lionel Cordew on drums; Jay Rowe on grand piano/keyboards; Jerry Brooks on bass; David Mann on sax and flute; Regina Carter on violin; Lao Tizer on grand piano/keyboard; Mino Cinelu on percussion; Tatum Greenblatt on trumpet; Gerald Veasley on bass; Eric Marienthal on sax; Fernando Saunders on fretless bass; Steve Adelson on the Chapman stick; Joel Rosenblatt on drums; Antoine Silverman on violin; Lin Roundtree on trumpet; Mike Davis on trombone, and Nelson Rangell on sax.

"I have a lot of horns, so I wrote for them," Chieli said. "I'm pretty grass-roots with the people I'm close with. "I kept some sounds of Special EFX. People know that comes from us. What is new is the big bass tunes. We stay true to what we were in the late 80s."

"All Stars" is the group's 21st project. They are currently on tour promoting the new "All Star" album which arrives February 13th at Yoshi's in Oakland, CA; the 15th at Spaghettini's in Seal Beach, CA (where I will be); the 18th at Blues Alley in Washington, DC; the 19th at Middle C Jazz in Charlotte, NC, and continuing the rest of February and March - ending April 11th at The Cutting Room in New York, NY.

In reviewing the "All Star" release by Special EFX Featuring Chieli Minucci my favorites cuts on the album include #1 "Mr. Marzipan" because it has just the right flow and I love the way Chieli plays the guitar and David plays the sax - they sing. I also like #3, the first single "Hanky Panky Boys" because the organ skills seem to be taking you to church and I love the "go go" feel thanks to the drums. The #4 selection "Little Wings," the Jimmy Hendrix cover, because the vocals of Maysa captures you, but the Hendrix influenced guitar playing and the sax pulls you all the way in. The #5 song "Empathy" is a masterpiece because of the perfect mixture of the guitar, the sax and the vocals of Fernando. The #7 track "Arise" is short, but its sweet, almost Classical sounding and I love the end with the violin sounding likes it's on its way to Heaven, and last #9 "Sweet Memories of You", which just has Chieli on guitar, is simply heavenly. 
www.ChieliMusic.com www.SpecialEFXMusic.com

 SYNDICATED COLUMN: Eunice Moseley, has an estimated weekly readership of over ¼ million with The Pulse of Entertainment. She is also a Public Relations Strategist and Business Management Consultant at Freelance Associates, and is Promotions Director (at-large) for The Baltimore Times. www.ThePulseofEntertainment.com. EVENT: Eunice is founder of the annual "Uplifting Minds II" Entertainment Conference (ULMII), into its 20th year. Next event dates include Los Angeles Saturday, November 9, 2019 at the Los Angeles Convention Center (511) and Baltimore Saturday April 18, 2020, held in partnership with Security Square Mall and The Baltimore Times. The free conference offers an Entertainment Business Panel and a Talent Showcase and Competition (vocal, songwriting, dance and acting) with over $15,000 valued in prizes to selected artists. Log onto www.UpliftingMinds2.com for more information or to participate as a panelist or talent call 562-424-3836.

www.GoFundMe.com/Uplifting-Minds-II-Entertainment-Conference

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