Few bands in contemporary jazz have been as entertaining and artistically satisfying as Special EFX. Spearheaded and founded by guitarist Chieli Minucci in 1983, Special EFX helped to pave the road for contemporary jazz during its early years in the 1980s, and the group continues to set the standard.
Born and raised in New York, Chieli Minucci is a tour-de-force guitarist who has been first call for such iconic stars as Celine Dion, Lionel Richie, Jennifer Lopez, Jewel, Mark Anthony, Jessica Simpson, Anastasia, and others, as well as for Bobby Caldwell, Marion Meadows, Jay Beckenstein, Kim Waters, Alex Bugnon, Gerald Veasley, Lao Tizer, Nestor Torres, Bob Baldwin, and many others.
Jazziz magazine writes that Nelson Rangell is “an artist of depth, a master of song, and an improviser nonpareil.” The Times of London notes “his extraordinary facility on a range of instruments” and his “considerable crowd-pleasing power.” Saxophone Journal writes, “He commands the alto saxophone with such authority there can be no denying that Rangell is a true artist,” and Flute Talk magazine states, “Nelson Rangell creates the impression that anything is possible when he improvises.” Such praise is a confirmation of what contemporary jazz fans have known since the Denver-based saxophonist emerged in the late 1980s: that Rangell is one of the most exciting and diverse performers in the genre, equally adept at soprano, alto, and tenor saxophone, as well as being a genuine virtuoso on flute and piccolo.
Keyboardist Lao Tizer is one of today’s rising stars of the world-fusion genre. His original music has spurred comparisons of a modern twist to the 1970s and early 1980s heydays of jazz fusion, when trailblazing ensembles such as Return to Forever, Mahavishnu Orchestra, and Weather Report set the aesthetic standard. Tizer’s music has a multi-genre, multinational appeal, and the band has performed alongside Zappa Plays Zappa, Jethro Tull, Isaac Hayes, Al Jarreau, Spyro Gyra, George Benson, Soulive, Babyface, Bruce Hornsby, and Robin Thicke.
Extraordinary range and technical finesse
Chieli Minucci is both an influential elder statesman and true innovator.
Chieli Minucci . . . a fire-breathing dragon on guitar