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MP3 Speak the Language - Summer Set

Their eclectic musical brew ranges from sweet power pop to smoky jazz to funk-fueled blues jamming, topped off by archly clever lyrics.

14 MP3 Songs in this album (56:53) !
Related styles: POP: Power Pop, ROCK: Americana

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Speak the Language

Bob Hoffmann: Bass, Vocals, Keyboards
Emile Menasché: Guitar, Vocals, Keyboards
Tom DeMartino: Drums, Percussion

Eclectic songwriting...catchy melodies...smart lyrics...a passionate take-no-prisoners instrumental approach: Speak the Language answer to all of the above. Their debut album SUMMER SET serves up a power-pop confection one minute, wistful country-flavored rock the next, and smoke-blue jazz the following.

Easy labels just don''t stick to this band. "We all come from different musical backgrounds," Bob Hoffmann xplains. "I''m into classic Brit pop,Tommy is a funk and jazz guy, and Emile loves Hendrix, Bowie, and the blues."

The New York-based band''s diversity is showcased throughout Summer Set''s fourteen songs. From the Celtic folk of "Stories" to the searing modern blues of "Sharks" to the post modern 60''s pop of "I Found You," Speak the Language relish changing gears on the fly, an approach that carries over to their live performances.

"We spend a lot of time in the studio crafting our arrangements," Menasché says. "But we''re all players more than anything else, and when we perform, we break each song down to its essence. Instead of these careful arrangements, we end up improvising a lot of the parts. The funny thing is, both approaches sound like us."

In addition to playing and recording with Speak the Language, guitarist Emile Menasché has worked as film composer (Parallel Sons; B. Smith with Style; Strength); producer/engineer (New Middle Class, Monica Zane, Dean Friedman, David Amram); and music journalist (including a stint as Editor-in-Chief of Guitar Shop magazine). He recently published The Desktop Studio, his second book for Hal Leonard Publishing, and is composing the music for the documentary feature film Contour Farms.

Lead vocalist/bassist Bob Hoffmann brings a flair for classic pop arranging that offsets co-writer Menasché''s blues and rock leanings. "Bob''s voice is the core of our sound," Menasché notes. "He glues together all our elements and makes us whole."

Drummer Tom DeMartino - a veteran of the East Coast club circuit as well as the music publishing biz - powers the band with a fluid and wide-ranging drumming style. His recording credits include Brian Tarquin''s Ghost Dance, among others. An active teacher, Tom attended University of Miami''s music program and the Drummers Collective in New York City, where he studied with Mike Clark. "Drummers Collective really raised the bar for me compositionally." Tom says. He brings that approach to every song he plays.

But it''s the sum, not the individual parts, that gives the Language its meaning. "Every time we work together, something fresh and inspiring happens." Menasché says. "Even when the styles are different, we share a commitment to the song''s integrity - melody, lyrics, and groove. We''re always standing together on the song''s foundation. And from there, we can go anywhere."

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