Featuring the Smooth Groove of Today's Jazz!
This Week at CaféJazz.ca

March 29, 2003
Edition #283 Previously Next

If you're looking for music to relax and energise you , you've come to the right place. We have a fantastic program lined up, one that might best be described as exceptional. On this edition, we introduce the uplifting music of Michael Tomlinson, a terrific singer/songwriter now residing in Seattle. We have more from some of our current favourites including Larry Gittens and Media, Pieces of a Dream, Gregg Karukas, and Spyro Gyra. As well you'll hear music from Joe Fuentes, Dino Pacifici, and Leena Conquest and that's just in the first half of the show. We cap off the hour with Deep as the Midnight Sea by The David Blamires Group, a classic track that has recently become available on Rare Requests Volume III. That's one that you may want to watch for. Throw in the Showcase CD feature and our Fresh Trax segment and you know it's going to be a treat!

Showcase CD
Just Chillin' - Norman Brown :
Growing up in Kansas City, Brown was only eight when he first became interested in playing guitar. One of his earliest idols was Jimi Hendrix. This all changed, however, when Norman’s father introduced him to the music of Wes Montgomery. Brown headed to Los Angeles in the mid-'80s to further his studies in jazz at the Musician's Institute in Hollywood. Shortly after graduating, he was signed to Motown's MoJazz label. It was with the release of After the Storm, his sophomore project, that Brown burst onto the contemporary scene. Many compared the young guitarist to greats such as George Benson & Montgomery. Now 3 cds later, Brown continues to impress with Just Chillin’, his latest, having recently been awarded a Grammy as the Best Pop Instrumental Album for 2002. It’s that very same album, that we place in our spotlight on this occasion.

Norman Brown

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Fresh Trax: Part One
As Good As It Gets - Mindi Abair :
Mindi is one of the hottest artists to break onto the SJ scene in the last while. Abair grew up in a musical household where her grandmother was an opera singer and her father a professional saxplayer and keyboardist. In fact Mindi was on the road with her dad until she turned about five or so. She began in music playing keyboards, but by the age of eight Mindi had turned her attention to the sax. Ms Abair is a graduate of the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston. Over the years she’s played with the Backstreet Boys and Jonathan Butler among many others. It Just Happens that Way is her debut as a solo artist and Abair has been tearing up the charts with a tune called Lucy’s from that release. Also on the cd, however, is an excellent piece titled As Good As It Gets and that’s the one that we’ve chosen to feature on FT on this occasion.

Mindi Abair
Whittier Boulevard - Luis Villegas :
Villegas, a first-generation Mexican-American, grew up in East LA caught between "two musical crosscurrents: the traditional music he heard at home and the raging rock and roll of Hollywood's Sunset Strip". Although he fronted several rock bands in his youth, Villegas eventually chose to channel the melodies inside of him through the Spanish guitar. Combining Latin rhythms together with the energy of rock, Luis soon polished a style and sound that only a few have attempted. Casa Villegas, his third and latest release, contains more of the guitarist’s trademark fire and energy. From that effort we have Whittier Boulevard, the lead single.

Luis Villegas

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Fresh Trax: Part Two
Ode to Chet - Doc Powell:
In the 80s Powell, who is self-taught, was chosen to play lead guitar for Luther Vandross. That relationship lasted 15 years and paved the way for Doc to record on the projects of a long list of today’s top artists. Although he released his debut in 1987, it wasn’t until his sophomore cd, 1994’s Inner City Blues that Powell began to hit his stride as a solo artist. Laid Back was his superb follow up album and was voted the #2 NAC for 1996. 97th & Columbus is his latest, the title of the cd being a reference to the location of a jazz club where Doc played many of his earliest gigs.

Doc Powell.com
Secret Smile - Althea René :
Althea René, out of Detroit Michigan, began studying classical flute at the age of 4. After many years under the direction of several distinguished members of the Detroit Symphony, Althea turned her attention to jazz. For a time Ms René studied with the legendary Donald Byrd and gained further inspiration from the works of Hubert Laws. Over the years, she has developed her own creative style and is regarded as one of the top jazz flautists in the US. Chocolate Rush, her latest effort, features both energetic and tranquil contemporary jazz pieces.

Althea René
Creek Lane - Fortune Vinson Cruse:
Dennis Fortune on keyboards, Pete Vinson on drums, and bassist Michael Cruse, are collectively known as who else but Fortune Vinson Cruse. All natives of Philadelphia, the trio first began playing together in the mid 70's, when Fortune and Cruse were introduced to one another by the late George Howard. The pair connected with Vinson a few years later after Vinson had completed a tour with Grover Washington, Jr. Since 1993, they have released a total of 4 cds which well capture the group’s original material as well as their collaborations on a collection of standards. Sunny Nights is their latest and from that effort we have Creek Lane, the lead single.

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New Releases to watch for Artist Links added this week
  • Shelby.Brown - Miracles (TEG Records)
  • Brian Culbertson - Come On Up (Warner Bros.)
  • Freddy Cole - In The Name Of Love (Telarc)
  • Maria Muldaur - A Woman Alone With The Blues (Telarc)
  • Reggie C - C Note (Rhythm & Groove)

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