Jazz brothers

Jazz brothers
Italian jazz organ playerAlberto Marsico (left) and Singaporean jazz musician Jeremy Monteiro (right) will be performing two shows to launch their new album called Jazz-Blues Brothers.

One is something of a Singaporean jazz legend. The other is an equally renowned Italian jazz organ player.

But no cultural differences stand in the way of Jeremy Monteiro and Alberto Marsico.

Conversation flows easily between Monteiro, 54, and Marsico, 48, often punctuated with hearty laughter.

The pair are collaborating on an album entitled Jazz-Blues Brothers, which also features US tenor saxophonist Shawn Letts, Hong Kong guitarist Eugene Pao and US drummer Shawn Kelley.

It is their first album together and will be launched during their show - Jeremy Monteiro & Alberto Marsico with The Jazz-Blues Brothers - on Friday and Saturday at The Star Terrace.

The album is the first from Singapore to be released on the famous Verve label, home to legends like the late Billie Holiday.

M spoke to the duo yesterday about their album.

How did the Jazz-Blues Brothers happen?

Monteiro: I'm very proud of it. Most of my jazz heroes like Ella Fitzgerald, Count Basie, Oscar Peterson and James Moody were on the label.

I have Alberto to thank for this since his record with Italian trumpet player Fabrizio Bosso and Italian jazz drummer Alessandro Minetto , Purple, was also released on Verve just last year.

First, he pushed me to record an album. Then he pushed me to get it on the label.

Universal Music Singapore said it was great and they approached the big people at Verve.

Marsico: We first met in 2002 when I played in Singapore with Italian blues guitarist Enrico Crivellaro. We met again in 2012 when we jammed together.

Monteiro: When I first met Alberto, I had stopped playing the organ for some 20 years. I have him to thank him for getting me started again.

When did you start working on the album?

Monteiro: Alberto and I did The Jazz Organ Summit tour in Asia last October with US organ player Tony Monaco. Alberto convinced me to record an album shortly after that.

I had said I was tired because I have other stuff to do - and I had already recorded over 30 albums. But I agreed.

There are eight tracks and it was recorded in under two days at Lion Studios.

Marsico: (Laughs.) The rest of the time was spent eating, right? Jeremy sent me the tracks which were mixed and mastered in Italy, and then mixed again when Jeremy came to Turin in May.

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