Different Place & Time
Re-issue of 'Strange & Wonderful' by Angry Vegan Records. Fumosonic, a collaboration between trumpeter John Fumo and his wife singer-songwriter Kelly Fumo, is a truly unique group, one whose music is both explorative and very accessible. "Our music has a very positive message and is groove-oriented without being predictable," says John. "Throughout my career, I have always been open to other musics beyond jazz. I have spent my life playing parts in a wide variety of settings. In this situation with Fumosonic, we have songs, lyrics, rhythms and grooves. I find my part and I get to solo and be creative. We hope that our music will uplift people's lives." John Fumo first met Kelly when they were playing together in the band Delaney Bramlett and Friends; John was in the horn section while Kelly was singing background vocals. After they got married, they began writing music together and the result was Fumosonic, a melding together of their varied musical interests. While John's background was based in jazz (including Miles Davis and Ornette Coleman), he enjoyed the rock of Pink Floyd, James Brown and the modern classical music of Mahler and Ives. Kelly loved groove music, hip hop, dance music and funk in addition to jazz. Together the Fumos have the potential of mixing together virtually all styles of music to form their own unique genre. "First we write the song," says John Fumo. "My wife contributes the lyrics, we think of the rhythms we want to utilize, and we begin recording some parts. Over time we add the other musicians, redo our parts, and then we have the song. From there, the composition develops over time as we perform it live." Combining together accessible and catchy but unpredictable dance rhythms with electronics, John's trumpet, solo and group improvising, and Kelly's haunting vocals, the music of Fumosonic is both unusual and distinctive. Born in Wisconsin, John Fumo literally began his musical life playing free jazz. "My father was a big jazz fan and he played me records of all of the greats like Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie and Miles Davis throughout my childhood. At one point he asked me if I'd like to play an instrument and I said sure. I was going to play saxophone but I couldn't get a sound out of it. I picked up a cornet, made a few sounds, and the band director at school suggested that I play it because they needed brass soloists. My father and I used to play freely improvised duets on cornet and drums. I didn't know what I was doing at the time, I could barely hold the cornet, but it was a great deal of fun, so one could say that the first music I played was free jazz." John Fumo took private lessons starting in the seventh grade, attended the New England Conservatory of Music, and moved to Los Angeles in 1978. He worked with Charlie Haden's Liberation Music Orchestra, met multireedist Vinny Golia, and recorded both as a sideman and a leader (1986's After The Fact) for Golia's Nine Winds label (an association that continues up to this day), displaying a higher original and spirited style on trumpet. Since that time, he has appeared on a dozen film scores and played with a remarkably wide variety of artists including Tito Puente, Japan's Inner Galaxy Orchestra, Mel Torme, Neil Young, Brian Setzer, Rudy Regalado, Wayne Peet's Doppler Funk, Brian McKnight, Dianne Reeves, Faith Hill, James Brown, Tower of Power, U2, Celine Dion, Smokey Robinson, Michael Bolton, Whitney Houston, John Tesh, Flora Purim, Phoebe Snow, Lou Rawls, The Four Tops, K.D. Lang, Babyface, Al Jarreau, Bon Jovi, Neal Diamond (with whom he extensively toured in 2006) and pianist George Kahn. In addition, he teaches at Cal Arts. But clearly the project that is closest to John Fumo's heart is Fumosonic. The group has thus far recorded All That Is, Strange And Wonderful and Different Place And Time, and the Fumos are currently working on a new recording. Kelly Fumo had previously worked extensively on television jingles and film scores while immersing herself in contemporary music. Her memorable vocals and inventive lyric writing are major assets to Fumosonic. "Kelly puts a lot of heart into her singing and uses space like Miles Davis or Chet Baker used to. She knows a lot more about contemporary music and grooves while I bring in my jazz knowledge, a combination that works well together. Musically we are on the same page." The expertise of such musicians as the masterful electronic percussionist Brad Dutz, Don Markese on reeds, pianist Joe Rotundi, guitarist Tim Kobza, drummer Eli Hludzik and percussionists MB Gordy and Mitchito Sanchez add colors and inventive ideas to Fumosonic alongside Kelly's vocals, guitar, keyboards and loops and John's trumpet and flugelhorn. For the future, the Fumos plan to perform live on a monthly basis in the Los Angeles area with Fumosonic and hope to take their unique group to Europe, Japan and many other places throughout the world. Although there have been other attempts to combine jazz improvising with dance rhythms, few are on the level of Fumosonic, and no band sounds quite like this one, the musical dream of John and Kelly Fumo.