O'2L (pronounced "O-Tool") is a collaborative effort between keyboardist and "sound designer" Jane Mangini and guitarist Al Pitrelli. Their album "Doyle's Brunch" is a funky, saucy fusion of soul, jazz, and funk that also features an individualized interpretation of the Doors' "Riders on the Storm." The two have a radically diverse background - Mangini has been involved in Atlantic Records' Trans-Siberian Orchestra and is a composer for Bang Music. Pitrelli may be a classically trained guitarist, but he cut his teeth with Megadeth and Savatage; he also worked with Alice Cooper, Asia and Dee Snider. As Pitrelli puts it, "You couldn't ask for two collaborators to come from more opposite worlds."
Well, I guess you could say that opposites attract, or something like that; whatever you say, the combination works (Pitrelli also describes the musical marriage as the "Mozart of Madison Avenue" recording an album with "a spawn-of-Satan guitar player"). Mangini handles the arrangement of the pieces, largely improvising various chordal structures. She feels the arrangements normally come easily: "I slice up my own work and use various chunks. Then I experiment with lots of samples. Sometimes I’’ll play the samples in other octaves to get a different feel. I even create some tunes based on a strange-sounding sample that I then write around." And Pitrelli feels O'2L provides him with a largely untapped creative outlet, in which he can "use an acoustic guitar or mandolin if a song calls for it." Named after what Mangini calls "a great Irish pub/restaurant" that featured "all kinds of colorful characters," including a German Shepard, the album largely reflects a similar cross-section of musical cultures and influences, featuring as it does an almost effortless blend of jazz, blues, rock, and electronica.
On "Come and Get It," Mangini's lively rhythms blend with a bit of jazzy brass and Petrelli's guitar adds a dash of fun. "Mountain City Playhouse" is a fast-paced, crazily energetic tune that does indeed suggest the kind of cantina where you might find Han Solo hanging out with Wild Bill Hickock and Wyatt Earp (but hardly the pace for you, young Skywalker). "City Chicken" features some New Orleans funk fused with some kicked back, mellow interludes that defy easy categorization. From the slow, chilled jazzy edge of "Senior Wilhelm" and "Cali" to the funky techno-funk of "City Chicken" and the classy strings of "Missing Kate," Doyle's Brunch is indeed a musical feast, a richly layered tapestry of sonic cross-currents fashioned into a unique, jazzy sound.
Samples of O'2L's songs in MP3 format can be found at www.02lmusic.com.