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The Soul Factor


2014 release. Soul music cannot be reduced to mere pre-cooked food for distracted consumers; an art form of such noble origin cannot be kneaded the way kids chomp down on caramel. But one can reinvent, flip, and revive soul by connecting extraordinarily creative talents from both sides of the Atlantic. Voices, souls, instruments, and hearts merged to pay tribute to the queen of soul, Aretha Franklin, but with no attempt to imitate the original. There will always be only one Aretha, but there is also an urgent call for soul, jazz, rock, and psychedelic music, for the sake of which one must cast aside black and white clichés and start from the bottom, from the very essence: the soul of this music. This disc is an atomic cocktail, a mix of unparalleled and inimitable talent: Cristina Zavalloni, the most compelling, venomous, warm, and explosive voice that has emerged in Italy in the past several years, and Uri Caine, a brilliant creator of sounds, an inventor without boundaries, whose work spans the world of jazz. The lyrics are hers, the music is his, and the arrangements are by both. In the past, they've been known to saunter along together in various directions, but this time they've stepped into soul's enchanted forest; making Bologna and Philadelphia, their respective hometowns, one sole image reflected in the ocean. Jazz guitarist David Gilmore, soulful bassist Fima Ephron, and outstanding all around drummer Gene Lake have brought their energy to this creation, along with two top-class jazz musicians: avant-garde jazz trumpeter and composer Ralph Alessi and clarinetist and tenor saxophonist Chris Speed. All that remains is to listen to The Soul Factor and play it loud, as we used to say. It will put a spell on you. Cristina Zavalloni: vocals; Uri Caine: piano, rhodes, organ, and keyboards; David Gilmore: guitar; Gene Lake: drums; Fima Ephron: electric bass; Ralph Alessi: trumpet; Chris Speed: saxophone. This CD is a co-release from Via Veneto Jazz and Jando Music.