matt bianco

in agreement with their Sole Agency

Legendary Latin-Pop

Some things just get better with time. Red wine and self-confidence, for instance, or Matt Bianco. The legendary British group, named after an imaginary Sixties super-spy in the Eighties, is adored around the world for hits like “Half A Minute”, “Get Out Of Your Lazy Bed”, “Whose Side Are You On?”, or “Yeh Yeh”.


For their album “Gravity”, founder, front-man, vocalist and songwriter Mark Reilly collaborated with Jazz saxophonist Dave O Higgins and his band. Martin Shaw (trumpet),
Graham Harvey and Rob Barron (Piano),Geoff Gascoyne(Double Bass),Sebastiaan De Krom(Drums) both of who where also in the Jamie Cullum band and June Fermie and Elisabeth Troy on vocals.


Their mission: reviving and modernizing Matt Biancoʼs Bossa- and Jazz-roots, while keeping the easy going swing of former successes, built around the singularly recognizable Dry-Martini-voice of Mark Reilly. The result is an energetic, yet relaxed collection of ten original songs, with enough gravity to please their most sophisticated admirers and plenty of new fans, who might have been bitten by the Jazz-bug via a Gregory Porter or Jamie Cullum.


“When we first started we were into a lot of Spy-movies from the Sixties”, Mark, who founded the band in 1983 with two fellow members from the group Blue Rondo a la Turk recalls. “The main reason was that they often had a lot of very cool Latin and Jazz music in the soundtracks. So we made up our own character to fit into that – Matt Bianco.” Recorded in Stockholm, London and in Matt Reillyʼs own studio in Buckinghamshire, “Gravity” draws on an organic Jazz combo sound recorded as a live band and mixed by Mark.


Mixing jazz and the retro feel to the music interested a lot of people. I think we created an interesting fusion with our music this time around, which interested not just the older people, but the younger generation, as well.” The making of the new album, the first release following the tragic death of keyboardist and co-leader Mark Fisher, who had helped overhaul the veteran U.K. pop bandʼs sound 25 years ago, after joining in time for their second album, began in Stockholm, when Mark started co-writing the feel-good summer-tune (and leading single) “Joyride”, a driving anthem somewhere between Lee Morganʼs “Sidewinder” and Warʼs “Lowrider”, which is also featured in a remix by Mark De Clive-Lowe, and the deep, dark, kind of blue ballad “Solace” with Magnus Lindgren. The other eight tracks, ranging from uptempo groovers like “Summer In The City” or “Invisible” to smooth-like-Molasses favorites like “AM PM” or the slightly latinized “Paradise”, were written and recorded with British sax-player Dave O Higgins (Jamie Cullum, Mezzoforte, Matthew Herbert) in his Brixton studio and recorded with the members of his quintet: Sebastiaan de Krom on drums and Geoff Gascoyne on bass, both of whom have played with Jamie Cullum extensively. The incredible Martin Shaw on trumpet and flugelhorn, a frequent member of the BBC big band, who has also played with Sting, Jamiroquai, or Natalie Cole. Mark Reilly is very excited about Matt Bianco touring “Gravity” with most of the same musicians as appear on the album.“Itʼs kind of more an adult thing! The Matt Bianco of 1984 was very much marketed in a pop world. It was the beginning of the video age and we kind of marketed that way. Now itʼs so many years later and although the music to me has not changed a great deal, we are now taking music more on an adult level. I think the music we do now is the same, but more mature. It suits our age group and us. We feel comfortable with it.”