June 28, 2003
Café Jazz Special Presentation - Smooth Jazz in Canada Eh !
In anticipation of the forth-coming Canada Day celebrations we’re having a bit of a celebration of our own. On this occasion, we’re playing the music of Canadian Smooth Jazz artists exclusively. This is definitely a first for us and may be one of only a handful of programs (if in fact there have been any) that have been dedicated 100% to Canadian Smooth Jazz from beginning to end. Now you might not get the chance to hear some of these performers anywhere else, but we’re pleased and proud to play them and to do our bit in helping promote some national pride in their musical accomplishments. So please join us for a totally unique listening experience featuring some of the smoothest and freshest music that this great country has to offer. We’re calling this feature "Smooth Jazz in Canada Eh! " and it's exclusive to Café Jazz, Canada's Smooth Jazz Connection!
Highlights Hour One
Pumpin - Vince Mai:
Released just last year Subte is Vince's latest cd, Subte being an abbreviation for subterraneo or subway in Argentina. The music featured on the album is quite diverse in its scope as Mai draws inspiration from various sources; the ruins of Mexico and the subways of Buenos Aires, the infectious rhythms and voices of Latin America, and the trance scene of European clubs, but all are filtered through Vince’s formation in jazz. From that release Pumpin is the track that we've selected. It's a fantastic tune, one on which Vince plays all the instruments and one which remains a Café Jazz all time favourite, Canadian or otherwise.
Site: Mai Music
This was the debut release under the Four80East banner spear-headed by the duo of Rob DeBoar and Tony Grace. The team of DeBoar and Grace has for years operated their own production studio as Boomtang Records and began Four80East as a creative outlet for some of their jazz related music a few years back. What started out as more or less a side project for the pair, has met with a huge amount of international success. In 1998 they scored a big hit in both the US and Europe with their first release called The Album which was listed among Billboard’s top 20 contemporary jazz albums for that year. There have been two fine follow-up projects with yet another presently in the works. From their initial effort, however, we've chosen the track that started it all.
*Four80East is featured on Then & Now on the After Hours part of the show.*
CD: The Album
Label: Boomtang Records (re-released on Higher Octave)
Essence - Kalabash:
Toronto’s premiere pan jazz ensemble caps off hour 1 of our show. The group was formed back in 1993 to perform at the launch of Caribana. Each of the members has various creative pursuits but they continue to collaborate and perform together. The partnership provides a unique musical vehicle that enables the individual members to explore much of the jazz inspired music of the English-speaking Caribbean. Although over the years the line up has changed somewhat, the group finally released their self-titled debut in 2001, with members both past and present contributing to the project. Vanilla Essence is a powerful piece that will sweep you away with it's infectious rhythms & grooves!
|Highlights Hour Two|
- Ray Garand & Steve Werbicki:
I’ve long referred to Ray as the best-unknown guitarist that I know of. Growing up in Saskatchewan, Garand has been active as a musician since his early teens. In 1985 or so, Ray settled in Vancouver, where he became involved in various aspects of recording, producing and engineering. He has always had a fascination with contemporary jazz so it was only natural that when he set up his own studio, he gravitated to that style of music. This has resulted in the recording of three superb cds. Ray is presently involved with the completion of his forthcoming project, one that is certain to catapult him to the next phase in his career. From Waterworks, his sophomore release recorded in collaboration with Steve Werbicki a few years back, Jag is the track that we've selected.
Label: Independent Release
Site: Ray Garand
- Jamie Bonk:
Hailing from Toronto, Jamie actually started his musical training on the piano in Winnipeg, where his family lived for a time in the 1970s.Stylistically, Bonk's music draws on a wide range of influences from jazz to world beat and new age. Jamie's self-titled debut cd was released in Canada in 1997and early the following year in the U.S. In addition to being the New Age Voice Radio Album of the Year for 1999, Bonk's cd was also the longest charting CD in the NAV top 100. Rain, the track that we're playing is taken from Jamie’s excellent follow up recording, A Perfect Tomorrow, which debuted at #1 on NAV and remained in the top 20 for six consecutive months.(In related news, Jamie is nearing completion of his third CD which will hopefully be available in the next few months or so. )
CD: A Perfect Tomorrow
Label: Bonk Productions
Site: Jamie Bonk
With Your Love - Maurice Gordon:
With Maurice Gordon, Jamaica has provided us with one its most precious exports. Finding inspiration in the traditional music of his native land and in the jazz stylings of artists such as Wes Montgomery, Maurice's music exudes a fresh and intriguing combination of influences. Initially self-taught on guitar, Gordon later earned a degree in music from York University in Toronto. He has won numerous awards in Jamaica and for a time, he was the Department Head for the Caribbean Latin and Jazz Program at the Jamaica School for Music. Irie Mood, his sophomore release, is steeped in the rich melodies and rhythms of his Caribbean heritage. From that effort, we've chosen Movin’ with Your Love, a feel good track that features an appealing blend of reggae fused with contemporary jazz.
CD: Irie Mood
Label: Independent Release
Stuff on the Net
Hey Steely Dan fans ! You may want to check out the promotional videos for Steely Dan's new release. They are available on the Reprise Records site at: SteelyDan/Player but you can also access the page from the Steely Dan site itself: SteelyDan.com. Simply enter and click on the "Listen & Watch" link near the bottom of that page. This is typically quirky Steely Dan fair except this time in video form.
2003 Smooth Jazz Awards
The 4th annual National Smooth Jazz Award winners were announced on June 18th at a press conference. The big winner was trumpeter Chris Botti who earned recognition in three categories; Brass Performer Of The Year, Male Artist Of The Year and as well was awarded the prestigious Album Of The Year honours for "Night Sessions." Not to be outdone Diana Krall matched that with three awards of her own including Vocalist of the Year, Female Artist of the Year and Vocal Song of the Year for "The Look of Love." For a complete list of winners in all fifteen categories please check: National Smooth Jazz Awards.