Chieli Minucci: Sweet on You

For his fourth solo project, Special EFX co-founder Chieli Minucci offers more of his reliable trademarks: sweet-toned, melodic and fluid guitar play marked by splashes of classical and Latin colors. Unfortunately, Sweet on You (Shanachie SH 5066; 55:59) is also filled with more of the slapping, dull percussion programs and endless keyboard layers which have diminished past pieces. The album is not without its moments, however-the hip-bop rhythm meets fusion movement of “Hot 100” is a prickly, funky treat, and the energetic “Breaking Away” is pumped by a pop-orchestral cinematic feel and Jay Rowe’s driving piano. The album’s most original track, “Little Squirt,” finds hard-bopping horns meeting Minucci’s guitar at the corners, for a minimalist-cool, truly funky feel. Though these gems are buried between less compelling works like the washy synth of the album’s title track, they provide fertile ground for the future of a fine player.