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Special EFX: Party

Special EFX’s Party (Shanachie) certainly is a party album-especially if you like to hold your parties at the hippest dance club around. Group leader and guitarist Chieli Minucci composed all of the tracks, which combine jazz and funk flavors with dance-floor grooves in intricately textured ways.

Party gets started with the festive “Get On Up,” which is driven by David Mann’s layered saxes. Horns meet guitar accents, exotic effects, handclap rhythms and a house beat on “Ready for Anything,” while the hypnotic “No Money, No Honey” is punctuated by ringing keyboards, flute and percussion accents and faraway-sounding guitar. Bassist Jerry Brooks channels Jaco Pastorius on “Dusk Till Dawn,” a tune that finds the group morphing into a sort of Weather Report for the electronica generation. Minucci turns in some breathtakingly dexterous flamenco guitar on “Mi Amore,” and provides snappy, Prince-esque rhythms on the funky closer, “Happy, Happy.”

Party is that rare album that gets your feet moving and treats your ears.

Originally Published