The URC is a project-driven combination of diverse talents formed around the core axis of Neill Solomon and Dan Chiorboli.
Talent, experience and a willingness to collaborate with likeminded matches now see the two serendipitously thrown together again, after a near 25-year hiatus. Reinvented, retooled and re-engineered from their early 1980s Uptown Rhythm Dogs beginning – 2015 welcomes the Uptown Rhythm Collective. “We had the chemistry back then,” guitarist, keyboard player and singer Neill recalls. “it’s fantastic to see that it’s still there, possibly even deeper now because we’ve developed, both as people and musicians”.
As to what ties the Uptown Rhythm Collective together, it’s quite simply the fact that each track’s rooted in diversity. “Our backgrounds are similar though,” Solomon points out. Middle East, and Mediterranean by decent, the two both grew up in South Africa. “The music we grew up listening to was similar and as diverse as our respective cultures. And let me tell you, that makes for some magic music. The fact that we’ve followed very different musical paths over the years is in fact the very thing that pulls us closer,” he adds. “I think it’s made it easier to bring our ideas to the table and share.”
The Uptown Rhythm Collective is, at its core, all about collaboration with a revolving cast of characters. A meeting of musical minds and a sharing of ideas that grows beautiful fruit, all ripe for the picking.
“It’s very much a workshop situation,” Chiorboli says of their process. “We’re really blessed and very lucky that we’ve both worked with an amazing diversity of great musicians who have become friends over the last two decades, so our choice of collaborators is incredibly broad. We’ll come up with a basic idea, and from there invite contributions to developing the arrangement, instrumentation and overall mood of each song”.
From school friends to famous musicians, producers and powerful influencers in the local music scene for close on 40 years, the Uptown Rhythm Collective is a comfortable, cathartic journey that’s set to take them on tour, beyond their borders, to the world that their music is based on. “Our music celebrates communion,” Chiorboli concludes. And with that the common denominator remains powerful partnerships, and once-off flirtations, that will have fans coming back for seconds, thirds and more!