It’s been a steady upward trajectory for jazz guitarist Frank Piombo ever since he issued his debut album, “Smooth Reminiscence,” independently in 2010. The New Jersey-based musician sold enough units to be ReverbNation’s No. 1 jazz artist in the Garden State for three straight years while cultivating a growing fan base in the New York Metropolitan area via his live performances. This past April, he hit the red carpet in Hollywood and went home with three statues from the Indie Music Channel Awards for three tracks from his upcoming fourth album, “Keep It Movin’,” providing the perfect launch pad for the new set. Piombo wrote six songs for the disc arriving August 4, and produced and arranged the record with Joe Arminio and Tom Jacobsen.
Perhaps it’s inherent in the culture from which he was spawned, but the Rome, Italy-reared Piombo imbues a sense of quixotic romance and passion into his spirited melodies and sultry grooves on “Keep It Movin’.” The title track, which won him the Best Male Jazz Artist title at the IMC Awards, is as optimistic and chirpy as they come. Illuminated by Michael Mahadeen’s whimsical flute and sax flourishes, the record opens with the instrumental version garnering international airplay and closes with a vocal rendition featuring empowering lyrics sung by Arminio. The placid “Al Dente (Tino’s Theme)” earned Piombo the Best Easy Listening Song award, a cut on which his cool electric jazz guitar humbly yields the fore to snappy flute, sax and keyboard solos. Piombo & Company ratchet up the tension on “Sunset Beach,” a steamy nocturnal number. That theme continues on “Middle Of The Night,” a track bolstered by Sam Hankins’ heated trumpet explorations that scored the Best Easy Listening Artist victory from the IMC Awards. Nominated for Best Jazz Recording, saxophonist Tony Exum Jr. trades soulful jabs with Piombo on “Rush Hour Funk.” Rich authentic Italian sensibilities mesh with improvisational jazz riffing and a robust R&B beat on the charming “Sogno D’Amore.” Piombo’s crisp guitar etchings thrive in the straight-ahead jazz setting of “Easin’ Up.”
“The music I wrote for ‘Keep It Movin’” represents an appreciation for the journey of life – the distant past and present as well as everything in between and the unknown possibilities ahead. The powerful message is remain focused, do what makes your heart smile and inspire others to follow their dream,” said the positive-minded Piombo, who was born in Tripoli, Libya.
Piombo hopes the pre-release accolades earned by his first album since 2013’s “The Night Speaks” will help expose his music to a larger audience. To further his mission, he has a pair of New Jersey concert dates booked in August in support of the album release. Two days prior to “Keep It Movin’’s” arrival, he will take the outdoor stage as part of the Essex County Summer Music Concert Series in Verona on August 2. A couple weeks after the album streets, Piombo will play Trumpets Jazz Club in nearby Montclair on August 19. An outdoor show in Viterbo, Italy is in the planning stages for October. For more information, please visit www.FrankPiombo.com.
“Keep It Movin’” contains the following songs:
“Keep It Movin’” featuring Michael Mahadeen
“Al Dente (Tino’s Theme)” featuring Rod Williams and Michael Mahadeen
“Sunset Beach” featuring Rod Williams
“Middle Of The Night” featuring Sam Hankins
“Rush Hour Funk” featuring Tony Exum Jr.
“Sogno D’Amore” featuring Joe Arminio
“Easin’ Up (Remix)”
“Keep It Movin’ (Vocal)” featuring Joe Arminio