Funk, jazz and blues get a mediterranean twist on Never Give Up, the latest album from Italian guitarist Luca di Luzio this December.
A jazz guitar graduate of the Conservatorio di Musica Frescobaldi, di Luzio showcases his pulling power with an all-star group which features trumpet legend Randy Brecker alongside keyboard player George Whitty, bassist Alain Caron, drummer Rodney Holmes and percussionist Steve Thornton.
Studying first under the likes of greats including Pat Metheny, Jim Hall, and Mike Stern, followed by professional collaborations with legendary drummers Dave Weckl and Marvin “Smitthy” Smith, bassist Jimmy Haslip and European saxophone giant Max Ionata – to name just a few – the album is a collection of original compositions which reflect on his journey to date.
The ensemble tackle an array of styles united by di Luzio’s guitar-centric compositional voice. The warm, punchy sound of his classic jazz archtop, driving funk/rock drumming, Brecker’s powerful trumpet tone, a wide array of keyboard and synth textures and bubbling percussion grooves come together to deliver a confident, and relaxed interpretation of lyrical, contemporary jazz.
Produced by George Whitty, syncopated horn lines, gentle finger-plucked nylon guitars and acoustic piano sounds are layered over energetic live performances.
Almost programmatic in nature, “Never Give Up” is a collection of songs that reflect the personal stories of di Luzio’s life.
“A14” is named after the road that connects the guitarist’s birthplace to where he now lives, “Second Life” is about his experience starting afresh in a nice city at the age of 40 and the challenges he had to overcome, while “Fishing In Paradise” and “The Genius” are tributes to two friends he’s lost over the years.
“This album is dedicated to those who never give up; to those who pursue their dreams, write their living destiny every day. Above all, to those who do not give up in the face of obstacles, and continue to smile, and make the world more beautiful.”