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Nick Millevoi - Streets of Philadelphia
“If you were writing a Philadelphia-themed album and decided to poll a hundred random residents of the city to find out what they think is an appropriate topic for a song, you’d certainly get a lot of cheese steaks, Grittys, Eagles, Ben Franklins, and snide comments about local politics. While these are all very valid Philly subjects, guitarist Nick Millevoi, a lifelong resident of the city, had a different idea: what if he wrote a hundred tunes and named them all after individual streets. And what if, instead of recording them as an album, he instead printed the notation as a songbook for other people to play. Thus was born the Streets of Philadelphia project.” -WXPN’s The Key
Following the 2019 release of the first volume of his Streets of Philadelphia songbook — which includes 25 compositions named after streets in the composer’s hometown — Nick Millevoi began documenting these compositions as performed by various ensembles. The first of these recordings, also entitled Streets of Philadelphia, serves as a digital companion release to the physical songbook and will be released on December 4, 2020.
The sounds of Streets of Philadelphia reach far and wide on this debut recording. Conceptually inspired by the City of Brotherly Love and sonically inspired by the AACM, Louis Andriessen, Captain Beefheart, and John Zorn, this recording features a unique instrumentation of Veronica MJ on viola, Tom Kraines on cello, Dan Blacksberg on trombone, Anthony DiBartolo on marimba and persussion, and Millevoi on guitar. Documenting ten of the songbook’s compositions, the ensemble performs in various iterations from cello and marimba solos, to viola/trombone and trombone/guitar duets, to a string trio, and three full ensemble recordings.