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From the Inside Out

Fusion Groovin’

By Published: July 13, 2013
Right Now consolidates the many different threads that Italian songwriter, guitarist and producer Fabrizio Sotti has explored in his career and weaves them all into a singular, beautiful tapestry. Serving as arranger and producer, he divides Right Now into an even mix of jazzy, reflective originals and soft jazz reflections of songs by Bob Marley, U2
U2
and Jimi Hendrix
Jimi Hendrix
Jimi Hendrix
1942 - 1970
guitar, electric
sung by an international vocal cast. Sotti's supple nylon, classical, acoustic and electric guitars are expertly caressed by bassist Tony Grey
Tony Grey
Tony Grey
b.1975
bass, electric
and multi-instrumentalist Mino Cinelu
Mino Cinelu
Mino Cinelu
b.1957
percussion
, who also steps up to the microphone on "Paradis."

Right Now is the complete opposite of bombastic, but its resounding brilliance rings quite loudly. In "One" (U2), the sharp if not acrid edge of Isabella Lundgren's voice combines with her languid phrasing to legitimately suggest Billie Holiday
Billie Holiday
Billie Holiday
1915 - 1959
vocalist
, as Sotti's soft, liquid guitar adorns her sound in jazz and blues. In addition, Zucchero
Zucchero
b.1955
gives sadly beautiful voice to Bono's lyric for "Someone Else's Tears." This genuine and profound reminder of all the terrible beauty and glorious pain in creation may be a difficult song for your ears to leave behind. "In Europe, Zucchero is like Bruce Springsteen
Bruce Springsteen
Bruce Springsteen
b.1949
composer/conductor
," Sotti explains. "The duet he did with Miles, 'Dune Mosse,' blew me away. Seeing an Italian singer with my jazz idol always stayed on my mind. I reached out to Zucchero when I was doing this album and he suggested we do 'Someone Else's Tears.' It was a huge honor to say the least."

Rappers Shaggy and Res rough up "Waiting in Vain" (Bob Marley), and Shaggy's gruff voice provides a great contrasting texture against Sotti's elegant guitar, sandpaper tearing against satin, especially his mid-song toast. (The digital version of Right Now includes the bonus cut "The Wall" featuring Res, Ice-T and M-1.)

Sotti and Cinelu collaborate on "Paradis," with Cinelu's French vocal hovering over the drums and Sotti's jazz guitar as gently as a spring rainshower. Sotti's acoustic guitar and Cinelu's whispering brushes melt into pools of soft rhythm behind Claudia Acuna
Claudia Acuna
Claudia Acuna

vocalist
in "Fidjo Maguado": Cinelu's drums are as tastefully wonderful—in every way—as Dom Um Romao
Dom Um Romao
1925 - 2005
percussion
's legendary, impeccable performance on Francis Albert Sinatra / Antonio Carlos Jobim
Antonio Carlos Jobim
Antonio Carlos Jobim
1927 - 1994
piano
.

The closing title track is precisely the perfect way to end a beautiful release like this—two flickering minutes of reflective solo acoustic guitar (with no words) that sings both welcome and farewell. "I want people to immerse themselves in a peaceful journey when they hear this album and try to enjoy living in the moment," Sotti suggests. "I'm hoping everyone can join me there Right Now."

Lenny White Live

Lenny White

Lenny White Live from '97

BFM Jazz

2013

Lenny White played powerful funky drums on some of the best records in jazz and jazz fusion history, including Freddie Hubbard
Freddie Hubbard
Freddie Hubbard
1938 - 2008
trumpet
's triumphant Red Clay with Creed Taylor
Creed Taylor
Creed Taylor
b.1929
producer
(CTI, 1970), Miles Davis
Miles Davis
Miles Davis
1926 - 1991
trumpet
' (in)famous Bitches Brew (Columbia, 1970), Romantic Warrior (Columbia, 1975) from his tenure in the Return to Forever
Return to Forever
Return to Forever

band/orchestra
rhythm section, and more.

Lenny White Live from '97 captures the drummer leading a first-call cast of electric and fusion jazz players through a thoroughly magical night during White's Japanese tour in support of his two previous studio albums, Present Tense (HipBop, 1995) and Renderers of Spirit (HipBop Essense, 1996). "The personnel alone is a hint at the quality of music," wrote White's funk co-conspirator and bassist Victor Bailey
Victor Bailey
Victor Bailey
b.1960
bass, electric
, who also played in Weather Report
Weather Report
Weather Report

band/orchestra
. His point is well taken: While White and Bailey stoke up the rhythm engines, the frontline features White's fellow Miles alumni Bennie Maupin
Bennie Maupin
Bennie Maupin
b.1940
clarinet
(saxophones) and Foley (lead bass), synthesizer player Donald Blackman (from White's Twennynine band), pianist Patrice Rushen
Patrice Rushen
Patrice Rushen
b.1954
keyboard
and trumpeter-vocalist Mark Ledford (who suffered a fatal heart attack in November 2004).

From the opening version of "Whew! What a Dream" through the encore version which closes this set, White rocks such big fat hard bass and snare drum sounds that everything he plays sounds funky—a sound he shares with John Bonham of Led Zeppelin, who is otherwise a completely different type of drummer. Two bassists—Bailey on rhythm, Foley on lead—plus White's heavy thumping transform "Dark" into a fire-breathing stomping dragon of psychedelic funk, and make Live from '97 a deliciously bottom-heavy set.


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