Starting in the mid-'80s, guitarist Chieli Minucci and percussionist George Jinda co-led Special EFX, an unclassifiable group who combined together aspects of fusion, world music, rock, and pop in their own unique sound. Special EFX was a fixture on the GRP label during 1985-1993. This CD has 15 selections drawn from eight of their GRP sets and features the co-leaders (who take "Udu Voodoo" as a duo) joined by up to five other musicians, including several keyboardists, bassist Mark Egan, and drummer Dave Weckl. The melodic music (which often has electric keyboards as the lead along with Chielli's guitars) is full of complex pop rhythms, catchy themes, passionate solos, and subtle surprises. Although certainly not for jazz purists, Special EFX has their own interesting appeal and this sampler CD acts as an excellent introduction to their unusual and accessible music.
AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow