Wed. Dec. 19, 2018

Mario Biondi – Stay With Me (Original)

This Beat Is Mine! (*) Mario Biondi – Stay With Me (Schema Records)

I was havin’ a dinner at some restaurant recently when I came to hear Mario Biondi‘s ‘Stay With Me’. With the guy at the bar telling me it was from his ‘Best Of Soul’ CD. It all of a sudden brought me back to the first time I heard it. Some time by the end of 2016 on Solar Radio as a matter of fact. I couldn’t help myself thinkin’ ‘Stay With Me’ had the potential of ‘This Is What You Are’ with Solar Radio eventually charting it back then. And Soultracks givin’ the album a review that says it all…

Alas, it didn’t really get any further at the end. And I find this so unfortunate…

A quick look as to how things happened explains the whole. With Sony – its distributor – most likely putting out the CD without significant support. And Schema Records, Mario‘s label, eventually releasing ‘Stay With Me’ 5 months after. Meanwhile a friend of mine who’s a journalist said to me Biondi‘s PR guy didn’t even bother responding to the interview request he addressed him at the time!

With reactions like these, no wonder why the music industry’s havin’ hard times. And no wonder how Mario Biondi‘s ‘Stay With Me’ is to stand among the definitive underrated jewels of this year. Such a mess at the end, don’t you think?

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This Beat Is MineThis Beat Is Mine! (*)
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With warm thanks to London-based correspondent, Matteo Trotta, for this week’s suggestion…

Gladly welcoming yours to be published next Wednesday. On your marks!

Overview
Catania, Italy native Mario Biondi comes from a family of musicians. With is dad, Stefano Biondi, also a singer, his passion for music began in his early teens when he sang in his church choir.
He started working as a session singer. Then, back in 1998, he had the opportunity to sing as the opening act on Ray Charles‘ Italian dates.

As a matter of fact, his first big break occured back in October 2004. This with the memorable ‘This Is What You Are’. A cut that saw him sharing the duties with Alessandro Magnanini and Mario Ranno aka Was A Bee.
Initially planned to launch the career of Mario Biondi on the Japanese market, this cool swingalong came to the attention of Norman Jay. The latter helpin’ it to get onto BBC 1‘s playlist. Then eventually including it on the vol. 5 of his ‘Good Times’ series of comps.

Biondi released his debut-album – ‘Handful Of Soul’ – along with the High Five Quintet in 2006. And, in less than 3 months, it went platinum. UK label Expansion givin’ ‘This Is What You Are’ a new life the year after with remixing work courtesy of Opolopo. Just the way they did a few years after with Gregory Porter‘s ‘1960 What?’ as a matter of fact

2013 marked a new step in the maturation of Mario Biondi‘s career and profile with the release of ‘Sun’. An album which he co-produced with Jean-Paul ‘Bluey’ Maunick of the Incognito fame and Leon Ware. It saw him sharing the vocal duties with luminaries such as Chaka Khan, Al Jarreau and Omar to name a few. Meanwhile 2015 saw him delivering his ninth album – ‘Beyond’ – featuring the enlightening ‘Love Is A Temple’.

More recently, by the end of 2016, Mario released ‘Best Of Soul’. A double CD including his tracks from his ‘Handful Of Soul’ album along with some new material including ‘Stay With Me’. A cut which features Fabrizio Bosso on trumpet and the late Vincent Montana, Jr. (MFSB, The Salsoul Orchestra) on vibraphone.

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