Keyboardist John Novello was a member of the famous
formation A Taste of Honey. With his trio Niacin he
performed progressive jazz rock. Some of his solo albums
are Too Cool (1990), Always & Forever (2004), Threshold
(2004), Organik (2005) and B3 Soul
After a long hiatus he is back with the new album
Ivory Soul (2016) on 529 Music. On his new project
he is joined by stellar artists like Gerald Albright,
Eric Marienthal, Donald Hayes, Tom Scott, Melvin Davis,
Rayford Griffin and many more.
Novello produced the album together with multi-platinum
songwriter/producer Andy Goldmark, with whom he already
worked on his previous album B3 Soul.
The album starts with the single Crush, which
was released first by Jennifer Paige and written by
Goldmark together with other fellow writers. Novello
gives this pop song a jazzy and Salsa twist with great
participation of Gerald Albright on sax and Melvin Davis
Shuffle The Deck is a term for randomizing a
deck of playing cards to provide an element of chance in
card games. In music the shuffle beat is one of the best
rhythm for playing and jamming. On this track Novello is
accompanied by saxophonist Tom Scott and what kind of
shuffle both create, is out of this world.
On Ivory Soul Novello duets with sax player
Jeff Nathanson, who is a principal soloist and horn
section member for Latin-pop superstar Luis Miguel.
While Novello masterly tingles the piano he cannot
resist to include some Hammond B3 grooves.
The love ballad I Can't Stop My Heart showcases
the distinct romantic side of Novello. Saxophonist Eric
Marienthal is an excellent choice to express the
emotions. The song Blackbird by John Lennon and
Paul McCartney is a classic today. For Novello a perfect
launching pad for his piano improvisations.
Funk Shui is Novello's splendid manifestation
of Funk featuring saxophonist Donald Hayes, who has just
released his first solo album Front Ground.
This excursion into fusion jazz is absolutely
challenging for all musicians. Heart of Hearts,
composed by Keith Stegall and Andy Goldmark, is
transcribed beautifully. A sonic highlight on piano and
The Latin tinged Fiestaville featuring Arturo
Solar on trumpet is lived joy. Cecil's Tune has
a special African flavor, what we owe to the guitarist
Ablai. Ablai (Abdoulie Jallow) is from Gambia and now
lives in Norway.
When singer Corinne Bailey Rae debuted in 2006 with the
song Put Your Records On, she had a tremendous
success especially in the UK. It was even listed in the
Billboard charts as smooth jazz song although it's
critically viewed a Pop song. Novello makes the best of
this tune adding some nice tremolos.
Stella By Starlight is celebrated as one of the
most covered jazz standards. Novello interprets the song
as solo piano and knows how to leave his personal touch
flow on this piece.
On B3 Soul was the Hammond B3 in the center of
Novello's musical creative force. On Ivory Soul
is the piano first choice of his ingenious skills. His
selection is shaped by his taste, his creations have the
musical vibrancy of a perfectionist but more of someone
who loves his instrument.
Buy the album in all stores
Title: Ivory Soul
Artist: John Novello
Genre: General Jazz
Label: 529 Music
01 Crush (Featuring Gerald Albright) [4:20]
02 Shuffle the Deck (Featuring Tom Scott) [4:06]
03 Ivory Soul (Featuring Jeff Nathanson) [5:49]
04 I Can't Stop My Heart (Featuring Eric Marienthal) [4:00]
05 Blackbird [3:07]
06 Funk Shui (Featuring Donald Hayes) [5:40]
07 Heart of Hearts [5:11]
08 Fiestaville [3:55]
09 Cecil's Tune [4:05]
10 Put Your Records On [3:44]
11 Stella by Starlight [3:18]