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We had the absolute pleasure of being invited to see the fabulous Matt Bianco on stage and WOW! They totally packed out the Jazz Cafe, tore up the dance floor and lifted the roof! Huge thanks and respect to Purple Reign Public Relations for a wonderful evening and for our interaction with Mark Reilly of Matt Bianco.
Matt Bianco is a UK pop group formed by the late Kito Poncioni (bass), Mark Reilly (vocals) and Danny White (keyboards) in 1982, all originally members of the band Blue Rondo A La Turk.
For their first album “Whose Side Are You On?” they hired unknown polish vocalist Basia Trzetrzelewska. Her vocal arrangements gave the album a jazzy dimension that Reilly and White couldn’t anticipate, and hits like “Get Out of Your Lazy Bed” and “Half a Minute” turned Matt Bianco into one of the biggest acts of 1984’s Europe. The band name suggests that Matt Bianco is a personal name, but Matt is “a made up spy, a secret agent; we loved spy TV themes and film scores.”
Basia and Danny White left the group after the first album to pursue a lucrative solo-career with Sony under the name Basia. Mark Reilly, now without a musical partner, found keyboard player and session musician Mark Fisher and recorded the next (self titled) Matt Bianco album, followed by a European tour that saw them perform in front of more than 250,000 people. Now Matt Bianco was a household name in Europe and Warner Brothers thought it was time to get them into the U.S. market.
They hired Gloria Estefan’s husband and producer Emilio Estefan and recorded Indigo, with the singles. “Don’t Blame It On That Girl” and “Good Times”, released in 1988. Another song, “Wap Bam-Boogie,” became European dance single of the year.
After another album with Warner Brothers – “Samba In Your Casa” (1991), Reilly and Fisher split from their record company and went freelance: From now on they would record their albums in their own studios and then offer them to independent distributors worldwide.
This way, they had total artistic freedom but still scored contracts with ZYX Music and Intercord in Europe, and JVC-Victor in Asia. They created a loyal fan base in Japan and the rest of Asia and the albums “Another Time Another Place,” “Gran Via”, “World-Go-Round”, “A/Collection”, “Rico” and “Echoes”
were very successful.
After twenty years recording and touring Mark Fisher started to crave for a different lifestyle and the two split amicably.
Basia and Danny White joined with Mark Reilly to reform the original Matt Bianco in 2003, after 20 years apart. In 2004, Matt Bianco released the album “Matt’s Mood”.
The following year, they embarked on a world tour, which included stops in the UK, Japan, and the United States.
In 2009, Mark Reilly and Mark Fisher joined forces again and released the album “HiFi Bossanova”, their first studio album together for 7 years, which was followed by their latest album, entitled “Hideaway”.
They are currently playing concerts and jazz festivals worldwide and in 2014 will bring a new dimension to their music, performing with the highly acclaimed Jazz Orchestra of the Concertgebouw.
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