tower

Chilly Gonzales Announces World’s First Orchestral Rap Album

Chilly Gonzales, never one to stay quiet for too long, is back with the announcement of his new album, The Unspeakable Chilly Gonzales, the world’s first all-orchestral rap album, the dramatic next step after piano-rap classics like “The Grudge” and “Crying” from his last album, Ivory Tower. The Unspeakable Chilly Gonzales will see a digital release on June 7th via Canadian tastemaker label Arts & Crafts. Gonz is giving the world a sneak preview of the ambitious album, in the form of an orchestral-rap medley, which you can download above.

Today, he brings some “Gonzpiration” to the rap game. Accompanied by Hollywood swells, tympani rolls, noble French horns, hypnotizing bells and influenced by Prokofiev, Morricone and Phillip Glass, this record is Chilly Gonzales’ professional confessional, revealing more of himself on these monologues than ever before. The arrangements found on The Unspeakable Chilly Gonzales were done by his Hollywood-film composing brother Christophe Beck, and take center stage alongside Gonzo’s eccentric personality.

After his Guinness World Record and the Locarno film festival prize-winning feature film (and accompany album) Ivory Tower, the single “Never Stop” was chosen by Apple for their iPad ad. Ivory Tower’s inter-planetary video hit “You Can Dance” helped bring the musical genius to the forefront of American culture.

Download “The Unspeakable Chilly Gonzales” Medley MP3 HERE!

TOWER OF POWER @ Boulder Theater | 8/7/11

Boulder Weekly & Z2 Entertainment is proud to present Tower of Power at the Boulder Theater on Sunday, August 7th, 2011.  Tickets are $30.00 and On Sale Friday, May 6th.

With 42 years of recording and touring experience behind them, Tower of Power has a new album, THE GREAT AMERICAN SOULBOOK which features covers of soul classics with guest singers Joss Stone, Sir Tom Jones, Huey Lewis, and Sam Moore.

The group still garners rave reviews, and leaves the audiences dancing in their seats in the arenas, theatres, and outdoor venues they play year 'round. Melding soul, jazz, funk, and rock in a way no group ever has, the ten-piece outfit is, according to the HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, “tighter than a clenched fist.”

The late great James Brown was quoted in HEEB magazine about Tower of Power, as saying, "There's no black group that plays my stuff as good as them."

Well known in the '70s for tunes such as “What is Hip?” and “You're Still a Young Man,” Tower of Power toured with Santana, Sly Stone and Credence Clearwater Revival, eventually creating traffic jams when they headlined their own shows. They performed on records with Elton John, Smokey Robinson, Rod Stewart, Aerosmith, and Dionne Warwick, influencing a generation of musicians (including Sting, who has told Emilio Castillo, founder of the group, that he once had a “Tower of Power clone band” before he formed The Police). In the 1980s, they backed Huey Lewis and the News, Heart, Eurythmics, and Little Feat, just to name a few.

Tower of Power, after 40 years, is experiencing more popularity than ever before as they tour year 'round packing venues in the United States, the Pacific Rim, and all over Europe.

On June 6, 2004 The California Music Association honored Tower of Power with a Lifetime Achievement Award and cited their 2003 Sony Legacy anthology “Havin' Fun” as Soul/R&B album of the year, beating out releases by En Vogue and Raphael Saadiq.

As of August 19, 2009 the group's original trumpet player Mic Gillette returns to the band reuniting with original members David Garibaldi, Emilio Castillo, Doc Kupka, and Rocco Prestia. Says Emilio, "Having Mic back in the band brings back incredible memories. His ability to play screaming lead trumpet and then switch effortlessly to trombone is world class. What an amazing brass player he is. It's just incredible that after all these years the three original horn players are back together in Tower of Power."

The band's frontman Larry Braggs is also a powerful force. Emilio, who shares frontman duties, is in awe of his singer, "with his astounding range and irresistible energy, he has a soulfulness that knows no bounds, finessing a ballad with the best of them, and then turning right around  to make it as funky as it gets. Larry's joyful spirit is undeniably contagious."

When asked to describe the band's music, the group members give a variety of responses. Says Emilio, “What Tower plays is Oakland soul music.” Former Tower saxophonist Lenny Pickett, current musical director for the Saturday Night Live band, says “TOP is the world's best rhythm and blues band.” In reality, TOP's horn-driven, in-your-face sound is all its own. Read more about Tower of Power at www.towerofpower.com.

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Tower of Power

Boulder Theater

Sunday, August 7th, 2011

Doors:  7:30 pm

Show Time:  8:00 pm

Tower of Power Celebrate 40TH Anniversary

TOWER OF POWER CELEBRATE ITS 40TH ANNIVERSARY WITH ALBUM, DVD AND REUNION.   New Collection Features TOP alumni like Lenny Pickett and Chester Thompson; Special Guests Include Soul Legend Sam Moore.

It’s spring! As we celebrate the start of the baseball season, the end of the basketball season and the release of Tower of Power’s 40th Anniversary album, the operative phrase in everyone’s ears is “We Came To Play.” But then, Tower of Power has “come to play,” every single time they take to the stage over the last 42 years.  The horn driven soul and funk machine has toured consistently playing to so(u)ld out crowds around the world.  And after 40 years, four of the original musicians still play with the band.

Similar to sports teams, however, Tower of Power has had numerous players take free agency with other musical prospects. So the 40th Anniversary show gave the band an opportunity to stage their version of “Old Timer’s Day,” bringing 20 former members to work with the ongoing ten player line-up.

“When we were young and we’d lose somebody, it seemed like the end of the world,” TOP founder Emilio Castillo told Gary Graff.  “But it started happening at such an early age in our career, and we always overcame it and always got great people to come in.”

Captured live at the Legendary Fillmore Auditorium in San Francisco in 2008, this extraordinary show welcomed such former members as Greg Adams, TOP’s trumpeter and arranger for 20 years and subsequently one of the architects of the “smooth Jazz” sound; Chester Thompson, who moved on to play keys for Santana and Elton John; and chart topping “smooth jazz” sax player and first call session guy Richard Elliott.

At a show recorded on the band’s actual anniversary, former TOP member Lenny Pickett, long time sax player for the Saturday Night Live band, joined in. He’s in the bonus footage and is interviewed.   Legendary vocalist Sam Moore, of Sam and Dave, added to the funkified festivities with “I Thank You,” and Otis Redding’s “Mr. Pitiful.”  The DVD is dedicated to Steve “Skip” Mesquite, long time alto player for TOP, who made the show and passed on shortly afterward.

The CD and DVD package is a slam dunk of soulful funk, with such great Tower of Power hits as “What is Hip?” “You’re Still A Young Man,” the ever timely “Only So Much Oil In The Ground,” and “This Time It’s Real.” After 40 years, this band can clearly still hit it out of the ballpark.

“It was probably the most special night of our entire career,” said Castillo. “Getting together and playing again with those guys we’d spent so much time with on the road. It was magic.”

Chilly Gonzales Announces New Single

2010 will be remembered as the year that Chilly Gonzales made a name for himself with his latest album (and accompanying film!) Ivory Tower, which received tremendous critical acclaim and best-of 2010 accolades worldwide. Now we’re thrilled to announce the release of a new single from Ivory Tower, in the form of “You Can Dance,” a euphoric hand-clap piano jamboree. The upbeat disco-soul number sees release on March 1st via Canadian tastemaker label Arts & Crafts!

The single, which will be available digitally in North America, comes with several remixes, including one from the nineteen-year old blog sensation Robotaki- other remixes come courtesy of Max Tundra, Shadow DancerGemini Club, Edwin Van Cleef and Popular Computer.

Gonzales is also known as a super-producer of sorts, working with a wide array of artists. Best known for his production work with Feist (whose album The Reminder earned him a Grammy nomination), Peaches and Jamie Lidell, he has more recently worked with Marina & the Diamonds and Tiga, not to mention older collaborations with Bjork and Daft Punk. His single “Never Stop” was recently chosen by Apple to soundtrack the latest iPad commercial, broadcasting Chilly’s magic to millions of homes across the globe.

As for his own material, Gonzo has criss-crossed the musical world. His early releases tended toward lo-fi rap (The Entertainist) and dark, gritty cabaret (Gonzales Über Alles), or a combination of the two (Presidential Suite). In 2004 he took a step in a different direction with Solo Piano, an album consisting entirely of beautifully arranged original compositions of classical and jazz piano numbers that became his most well-known and best selling album to date.

In addition to all this great news, Chilly's brilliantly hilarious film Ivory Tower, featuring Tiga and Peaches as well as frequent Gonzales collaborator Feist, is due for release on DVD later this year.

Check Out The NME Video Premiere HERE

Tower of Power to play the Boulder Theater

With 40 years of recording and touring experience behind them, Tower of Power still garners reviews calling them a “very contemporary sounding band.” Melding jazz, funk, rock and soul in a way no group ever has, the ten-piece outfit is, according to the HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, “tighter than a clenched fist.”

Well known in the '70s for tunes such as “What is Hip?” and “You’re Still a Young Man,” Tower of Power toured with Sly Stone and Creedence Clearwater Revival, creating traffic jams when they started to headline their own shows. They performed on records with Elton John, Smokey Robinson, Rod Stewart, Aerosmith, and Dionne Warwick, and influenced a generation of musicians (including Sting, who has told Emilio Castillo, founder of the group, that he once had a “Tower of Power clone band” before he formed The Police).   In the 1980s, they backed Huey Lewis and the News for his world tours.  They continued to play their own music in between Lewis' gigs.

Tower of Power is experiencing a renaissance, touring most of every year and packing venues in the United States, the Pacific Rim, and all over Europe with its audience of new and old fans.  Joined by a new singer, Larry Braggs, who Emilio Castillo described as "the best singer we've had since the '70s," the group released their album OAKLAND ZONE on Or Music in 2003, and have started work on a new album which will be covers of classic soul hits.

On June 6, 2004 The California Music Association inducted Tower of Power with a Lifetime Achievement Award and cited their 2003 Sony Legacy anthology Havin’ Fun as soul/R&B album of the year, beating our releases by En Vougue and Raphael Saadaq.  In 2006, original guitarist Bruce Conte returned to the group, making half the lineup featuring original band members, who are also: David Garibaldi, Emilio, Doc Kupka, Rocco Prestia.  Prestia took a break last summer for heart surgery, but he has returned to the band. It has been a long, hard road, but lately things keep getting better and better.

When asked to describe the band's music, the group members give a variety of responses. Says Emilio, “What Tower plays is soul music.” Former Tower saxophonist Lenny Pickett, now musical director for the Saturday Night Live band says, “TOP is the world’s best rhythm and blues band.” In reality, TOP’s horn-driven, in-your-face sound is all its own. Read more about Tower of Power at www.bumpcity.com.

Tower of Power will be playing the Boulder Theater, 2032 14th Street, in Boulder, on July 8 at 8 PM.  This is a 21 and over show.  Tickets are $36.50, and the venue phone is 303-786-7030.  The web site is http://www.bouldertheater.com.

Tower of Power @ Boulder Theater

For over 40 years, Tower of Power has been creating their own kind of soul music. Since 1968, Tower of Power has delivered their unique brand of music to their fans, appearing before sold out crowds as they tour the world each year. Tower’s sound can be hard to categorize, but the band's leader and founding member, Emilio Castillo, has labeled their sound as "Urban Soul Music."

2009 will see the release of the “Great American Soulbook”, the bands first studio disc in five years.  "Great American Soulbook" is a bit different then pervious albums.  This time the group played some old songs by lifelong favorites.  “In the old days,” says the group’s co-founder, saxophonist Stephen “Doc” Kupka, “the thought of doing other peoples’ songs would have been unthinkable, but this felt like a really good way to go - our take on classic great soul songs that we listened to on the way up.”

•        EMILIO CASTILLO - Second tenor sax
•        STEPHEN ("DOC") KUPKA - Baritone saxophone
•        FRANCIS ROCCO PRESTIA - Bass
•        DAVID GARIBALDI - Drums
•        LARRY BRAGGS - Lead & background vocals
•        ROGER SMITH – Keyboards
•        TOM E. POLITZER - First tenor sax, alto sax
•        ADOLFO ACOSTA - Second trumpet, flugelhorn
•        MICHAEL BOGART – Lead trumpet, flugelhorn, trombone
•        MARK HARPER - Guitar

GA / 21+ / $36.50  -- On Sale Now!

Tickets are on sale now at The Boulder Theater Box Office. Call (303) 786-7030 for tickets by phone.  Tickets are also available through their website @ www.bouldertheater.com.  Ticket prices include tax and service charge.