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Sometimes you meet an artist that defies logic and reasoning. Such is the story of keyboardist extraordinaire JOHN NOVELLO. After moving to L.A. John quickly wound up playing with Taste Of Honey which then had a #1 song, “Boogie Oogie, Oogie”! That led to many other gigs playing with esteemed soul, pop, and jazz artists like Donna Summer, Manhattan Transfer, Ramsey Lewis, Edgar Winter and Ritchie Cole.
Soon after developing a following of this own, Novello gave fusion fans a huge body of work with his group NIACIN, a trio that has remained a defining figure in progressive jazz rock. Originally on Chick Corea’s Stretch label, Niacin’s influence on modern musicianship can be compared to the sonic shock wave created by Herbie Hancock. Then a few years ago in a show of remarkable diversity, Novello released his critically acclaimed album B3 Soul. John’s soulful smooth and funky B3 organ style demonstrates his devotion to the art of the groove combined with unforgettable melody.
With his brand new album “Ivory Soul” Novello has come full circle, this time on acoustic piano. On his recent hit single release, “Crush” featuring Gerald Albright on saxophone, Novello infuses old-school jazz and a soulful pop R&B mix with funky crisp verses capped off by Albright’s sweeping sax in the choruses. Novello then doubles down gliding and grooving through a set with some help from great sax players Tom Scott and Eric Marienthal on songs like “Shuffle The Deck” and latest charting single “I Can’t Stop My Heart”. On “Funk Shui”, Novello delves into that most sacred of jazz inner sanctums created by Miles Davis while the title track “Ivory Soul” becomes no less than an epic adventure leaving the listener somewhere between the Village Vanguard and Beale Street. Add to this mix the Latin bounce of “Fiestaville”, the rich down home flavor of Novello’s take on “Put Your Records On”, along with the joyous interpretations of standards “Black Bird” and “Stella by Starlight” and the album’s title becomes self explanatory.
“Ivory Soul” available on iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, Apple Music, Google Play and more.