Giacomo Gates: Melodious Funk


Melodious Funk


Giacomo Gates (vocals)


Luminosity (Doubledave Music 3001)

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Giacomo Gates (vocals), Ray Drummond (bass),

John di Martino (piano), Greg Bandy (drums), Bob Kindred (tenor sax), Tony Lombardozzi (guitar)


Composed by Meredith d’Ambrosio


Recorded: Presence Studios, Weston, Conntecticut, January 6-7, 2007


Rating: 88/100 (learn more)

The only thing missing in "Melodious Funk" is that obvious rhyme: Thelonious Monk. Or maybe a felonious punk in a commodious trunk. Or an odious skunk with a coyote's junk. But we get none of these (even though there is a bit of sly Monkish movement in the melody line). But Gates makes up for it with always stylish delivery, big voice and forceful scatting. I only wish saxophonist Kindred would lay back more when Gates scats, rather than offer an alternative solo in the background. Gates continues to impress with his convivial attitudes and the bohemian ambiance of his vocalizing. When I need hep replacement surgery, I am tracking down this singer, 'cause he's got some to spare.

Reviewer: Ted Gioia

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  • 1 Jay Petite // Feb 25, 2008 at 04:49 PM
    88/100? This CD/DVD combo is 100% dynamite! Every cut on Luminosity should have its own day at This is grammy material that swings from first note to last and the bonus track, Full of Myself, is inspired genius. Gates deserves to be named Male Jazz Vocalist of the Year.
  • 2 Rocky Lawrence // Feb 29, 2008 at 03:04 AM
    So what else is new. Where y'all been? Full of Yourself's?
  • 3 harryape // Feb 29, 2008 at 02:53 PM
    Hey, Ted - someone naggin' you when you gave Gates' newest release a listen? In Plano English, this is his best work ever and I agree with JP - he deserves a Grammy. Maybe even two - Best Male Jazz Vocalist and Best Jazz Recording.
  • 4 michael jacobi // Feb 29, 2008 at 04:49 PM
    Gates has been part of my playlist since the beginning...he was the was the real deal then...he's the real deal now...and it's high time that other radio folks really start to deal with one of the very best in the business...Giacomo Gates. Michael Jacobi Host "Raising The Standards" KRML JAZZ Radio Carmel, Ca.
  • 5 Jennifer H // Mar 06, 2008 at 03:32 PM
    I am puzzled by the 88/100 rating for Luminosity, as well. This is Giacomo Gates finest work and that speaks volumes because Fly Rite, Blue Skies and Centerpiece are grand artistic achievements in their own right. Gates is unique, fresh and inspired. He is a vocalist with immense range, versatility and creativity. To quote the esteemed Franz Douskey who wrote a critique for, "As far as anyone singing or sounding or creating and improvising like Giacomo Gates, no one comes close. In fact, he is so far out in front, they eliminated second place. Luminosity is just right." Amen to the five-star rating you gave Luminosity, Mr. Douskey! My next question is where in the heck can I buy a copy of Luminosity? Barnes & Noble doesn't even have it on their radar (not in the Midwest, anyway) and features it (if you are savvy enough to find it), but does not have it in stock. If it weren't for friends in the jazz business, I never would have heard the entire CD or had the privilege of viewing the DVD. What's up with that?