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Homegrown fusion outfit Urbanity launched their debut collaborative album Urban Soul to an appreciative audience at Melbourne jazz club Birds Basement last night. Urbanity is made up of  jazz guitar stalwart (and jazz club owner) Al Bare, keyboardist extraordinaire Phil Turcio, Gerry Pantazis (one of Australia’s finest stickmen) and the tastefully solid Peter Mollica. At the launch the band played nine of the ten groove-laden tracks from the new album before returning for a second set of material the musicians have worked on in the past. On display was a lesson in musician listening skills, as the 4 members fed off each other, trading licks and offering space for individual passages of brilliance.

philThe collaboration between Albare and Phil Turcio started 27 years ago when Albert Dadon – aka Albare – was looking for a new pianist for his band. At the time Phil had just turned 18. Since their first encounter, Phil’s and Albare’s paths keep on intersecting.

Phil explains that he and Albare hear music in the same way, “Everything I throw at Albare comes back as if I would have played it myself.” Albare likes to describe Phil as his musical soul mate.

If you missed last night’s show, you can catch the band again at Bird’s Basement on March 26, April 15 and 27.

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