September 27th, 2003
We have just the right style and mix of music to relax and energize you for the week ahead. There is new music from Daryl Hall, Dave Koz, Marc Antoine, and Brian Hughes as well as some fabulous tracks from the past from Bob James, Freddie Ravel, Herb Alpert, Richard Elliot, and George Benson. Add a handful of gems from artists such as Joe Fuentes and De-Phazz, blend in a nice healthy number of current favourites such as Nick Colionne, Pamela Williams, Gregg Karukas, and Chris Botti, and there you have it. A program that's hand crafted to satisfy your SJ craving!
Radio Contact - Acoustic Alchemy :
During the 1980s and '90s, the duo of Greg Carmichael & the late Nick Webb produced a series of superb albums as they explored a range of musical influences. Throughout that period their work remained innovative and fresh and helped define the sound of Smooth Jazz. After the passing of Webb, Carmichael chose to revamp the Alchemy sound by including several longtime sidemen in the line-up. Among them is fellow guitarist and now fellow front man, Miles Gilderdale, who co-writes many of the selections . Present as well are drummer Greg Grainger and bassist Frank Felix who have long performed as members of the back up band at live gigs. The change has resulted in an even broader range of styles and the recording of three excellent projects of which Radio Contact is the latest.
| Although this latest effort is a bit of a return to the
acoustic roots of the Alchemy sound, there is nevertheless the customary
venture into new musical terrain that has characterized the band's style
since its inception. Chuck Loeb adds his guitar and production skills
to several tracks. So, as we showcase Radio Contact we have for you Shelter
Island Drive, Milo, and Venus Morena.
Label: Higher Octave Music
Site: Acoustic Alchemy
|Fresh Trax: Part One
Rain - Gabriel Mark Hasselbach :
Hasselbach, an award winning composer and recording artist, grew up in Denver Colorado and relocated to Canada's West Coast in the late 70s. His initial taste of success came as an original member of the Powder Blues Band. In 1981, however, Hasselbach set out as a solo artist with the release of Solar Winds and since then has forged a career as one of the pioneers and innovators in the Canadian SJ scene with a total of nine albums under his own name. Just out is his long anticipated Gabriel's Horns which features Hasselbach’s unique talents on a variety of instruments including trumpet, flute, flugelhorn, trombone, and digital winds. The advance single is titled Maui Rain. Hasselbach, who splits his time between Vancouver and Hawaii, gave us a live version of this track a few years ago. For this project, he went back into the studio and now presents us with a fresh take on the tune, somehow managing to handle the tricky combination of providing it a bit more bite and yet delivering a highly refined and polished product.
CD: Gabriel's Horns
Label: Wind Tunnel Multimedia
Sites: Gabriel Jazz & GMH
Rain - Andrew Oh :
Originally hailing from Singapore, Andrew's musical background and experience now spans three decades and three continents. For most of the 70s he worked in Hong Kong as a studio musician, and in support of many top international stars such as Roberta Flack, Sammy Davis Jr. and the Bee Gees. In 1979, however, he moved to Italy after being contacted by one of that country’s biggest pop artist. He remained there for almost five years. In that time he worked with many of Italy’s finest jazz musicians and also taught music at Milan's highly acclaimed school for the arts. Just over 17 years ago, Oh relocated to Australia, where he’s performed and recorded with artists such as Tommy Emmanuel, among others. In the last few years he has begun to record under his own name and as well has continued an association with Noel Elmowy, an excellent keyboardist and one of the finest contemporary players and producers from "down under". These forces have recently all come together with the result being the release of Silk, Andrew’s North American debut. The cd title nicely foreshadows what you’re about to hear as from that endeavour, we’ve chosen Summer Rain, a beautifully expressive piece that is highlighted by Oh’s mature style and wonderful tone.
Label: Ark Music
|Fresh Trax: Part Two
In Love - Blake Aaron :
Aaron has been active as a guitarist on both the LA and national music scene for several years. His playing has been a part of many TV shows and as well, he's appeared both as a live performer and in the studio with a number of today's top SJ artists such as Steve Reid, David Benoit and Eric Marienthal among others. Bringin’ It Back, his new release and second under his own name, features a collection of hip, passionate, and energetic smooth jazz originals. From that offering, we've chosen the melodic and groove inflected stylings of So In Love.
CD: Bringin' It Back
Label: Innervision Records
Site: Blake Aaron
of Life (Still Searching) - Paul Hardcastle:
This is now the fourth release for Hardcastle under the Jazzmasters moniker and although the cd doesn’t really forge into much new territory, it does however, provide some fine and moody musical moments. In keeping with the key elements that characterize Hardcastle’s style & sound we've selected Signs of Life, which is highlighted by the fine sax work of Tony Woods.
CD: The Jazzmasters 4
Label: Hardcastle Records/Trippin'N Rhythm Records
Site: Paul Hardcastle
Shore - Will Sumner :
Sumner is not only an accomplished guitarist but is also well versed on piano and violin. In the course of his musical training, he's studied at the University of Minnesota, Berklee in Boston, and as well at Westminster College in Salt Lake City. A few years back, Will and his band recorded their debut album under the name of Tropic Zone, a project which continues to give Sumner’s music some well deserved exposure across the U.S. Coast Drive is now his third release, and perhaps finest to date. From that undertaking we'll be hearing the breezy and optimistic Off Shore.
CD: Coast Drive
Label: Ocean Street Records
Site: Will Sumner
|Indispensable Smooth Jazz Listening:
|Each week we
give you a short list of cds that are not only recommended but ones that
we feel would be most welcome additions to your SJ library. This is music
that you should not do without. As is our custom, we're playing a track
from each of the following and recommend them without hesitation ! If
you don't have these yet, don't delay, these are indispensable!
Herb Alpert - Second Wind
Joe Fuentes - A Good Cup of Joe
George Benson - That's Right