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Jazz Articles about Charlie Apicella

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Album Review

Charlie Apicella and Iron City Meet the Griots Speak: Destiny Calling

Read "Destiny Calling" reviewed by Troy Dostert


Since the early 2000s, guitarist Charlie Apicella's Iron City trio has devoted itself to maintaining the tradition of soulful, organ-based jazz. The aptly-titled Groove Machine (OA2 Records, 2019) preceded Destiny Calling, the group's 2023 album. And the latest one is quite a change-up. For this outing, Apicella has teamed up with The Griots Speak, an all-star assemblage of veterans who trace their roots to the halcyon days of the New York loft scene of the 1970s: multi-instrumentalist Daniel Carter, percussionist ...

6
Album Review

Charlie Apicella & Iron City: The Griots Speak: Destiny Calling

Read "The Griots Speak: Destiny Calling" reviewed by Hrayr Attarian


Guitarist Charlie Apicella and his organ trio Iron City are solidly based in the hard-bop mainstream. However, some of their releases are flavored with other motifs, partially by virtue of the guest artists. For instance, the tribute to legendary guitarist B.B. King, Payin' the Cost To Be the Boss (CArlo, Music, 2016), with an augmented sextet, was aptly bluesy. Meanwhile Classic Guitar (Zoho, 2020), with tenor saxophonist Stephen Riley, was an intimate interpretation of the Great American Songbook.

14
Album Review

Charlie Apicella: Groove Machine

Read "Groove Machine" reviewed by Don Phipps


On Groove Machine, Charlie Apicalla & Iron City serves up a gumbo of styles that run from New Orleans blues and Chicago funk to Motown and New York bop. The combination makes for a “groovy" listening experience—road music that will keep the head nodding and the mind trucking. Apicella penned five of the eight numbers on the album. The other three writing credits go to Lou Donaldson, organist Radam Schwartz, and Willis Jackson. Apicella's standout guitar work glides ...

8
Album Review

Charlie Apicella & Iron City: Big Boss

Read "Big Boss" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky


Thank god for groove music. In an era when needless complexity often dominates, it's nice to encounter a throwback record that's built on feel-good rhythms and soulful declarations. That's what Big Boss is all about. Sparks (Carlo, 2009) set things in motion for this band, as guitarist-leader Charlie Apicella planted his flag in soul jazz territory by delivering direct-and-honest originals and covering the music of organist Dr. Lonnie Smith, guitarist Grant Green, and saxophonist Lou Donaldson; The ...

82
Album Review

Charlie Apicella & Iron City: The Business

Read "The Business" reviewed by Edward Blanco


Guitarist Charlie Apicella & Iron City get down to the gritty business of delivering variations of funk and soul jazz on The Business, a well-crafted, vibrant grind of guitar-organ sounds supported by percussion and saxophone voices in an exciting quintet format. Though Apicella's playing style has been compared to that of Wes Montgomery, he also has an affinity for the music of Grant Green, featuring one of the late guitarist's compositions on The Business. Produced by veteran jazz guitarist Dave ...

405
Album Review

Iron City: The Business

Read "The Business" reviewed by Glenn Astarita


Guitarist Charlie Apicella and his band mates mix it up nicely with these originals and jazz standards, disavowing a rough-hewn presence and sporting a piquant mode of execution. The artists morph a somewhat traditional blue collar approach to the classic organ-combo into a contemporized product. The band may not 't reinvent the genre, but the diverse and largely up-tempo track mix rounds out a balanced approach, spanning blues, funk, Latin and swing. One of the album highlights is ...

205
Album Review

Charlie Apicella & Iron City: The Business

Read "The Business" reviewed by Greg Simmons


Charlie Apicella and Iron City have funk, groove, and insistent swing on The Business. Nominally a guitar/organ/drums trio, this date adds the tenor saxophonist Stephen Riley and conguero Mayra Casales, to fill out the sound. Apicella exhibits a sturdy competence on guitar, with an emphasis on getting all the basics right--never resorting to flame-throwing arpeggios, and with a great sound. This record owes a lot to some of the great proto-funk and soul bands of the 1960s. In ...


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