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Show Notes The Café Jazz Newsletter

January 10, 2004
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Special Presentation - The Café Jazz Best of 2003 - Part 2
Continuing our musical review of 2003, we have music from Alex Bugnon, Brian Culbertson, & Fattburger to name but a few. However, if you're a regular listener, you no doubt know that we play much more than just hits. Style and mood are vital to what we're all about. As such we'll be featuring artists like Solar Wind & Noel Webb that you may get the chance to hear only here and nowhere else. So get set to enjoy the smoothest and hippest show on radio as we present the Café Jazz Best of 2003 Part 2.

Highlights Hour One
Clouds - Les Sabler :
Born and raised in Montreal, Sabler graduated as a jazz major from Concordia University before relocating to Florida’s West Coast in 1978. For a time he continued his studies at University Of Miami before turning to performing professionally. In 1989, Les was commissioned to compose and produce a soundtrack for the documentary Lost Treasures Of The Titanic for Canadian TV. In the 90s, he had a pair of releases that gained airplay on SJ radio in the US. Between these projects he was selected by the Walt Disney Corporation to perform at the opening of Pleasure Island. The last few years have seen Les devote much of his time and energy to touring and to working on "Bridge The Gap". On the project Sabler shares production duties with fellow Floridian, Allon Sams, one of our favourites here at CJ. The collaboration works exceedingly well, resulting in a highly polished product that shows Sabler at his best!

CD: Bridge the Gap
Label: Sin-Drome
Site:Les Sabler

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Unconditional - Pamela Williams :
Perhaps one of the more underrated performers on the smooth jazz scene, and one that I personally prefer to refer to as the first lady of sax, Williams has resided in California since the late 80s. It was however, her time growing up in Philadelphia that was primarily responsible for molding Pamela's musical identity. One of her earliest influences was Grover Washington Jr. It was Grover's cutting-edge blend of jazz and R&B that first instilled within Williams an interest in that style of playing. In high school, she joined the Jazz Ensemble and was required to embrace both contemporary and traditional forms of expression. By the time Williams left Philly, she had toured extensively, backing fellow Philadelphian Patti LaBelle, among others. In 1989, Ms Williams relocated to LA primarily because of the opportunities it afforded in film & TV. Williams has always enjoyed exhibiting the many diverse elements of her repertoire from Latin, to jazz, R&B, hip-hop and house, several of which are stylishly incorporated into The Perfect Love. That effort is her first on Shanachie records, fourth release overall, and may well represent her most accomplished work to date.

CD: The Perfect Love
Label: Shanachie
Site: Pamela Williams

High Flyin' - Nick Colionne :
Born and bred in Chicago, Nick has been playing guitar since he was 9. Colionne grew up in a household surrounded by jazz. In fact his mother and stepfather, under whose tutelage Nick first learned his craft, would often disagree as to whom he should emulate as a guitarist, Kenny Burrell or Wes Montgomery. (It seems Wes won out.) Nevertheless, Colionne became a professional musician while still in high school playing rock and R&B. Included on his resume are stints with artists such as the Impressions and Natalie Cole, gigs which in the course of events took Nick all over the world. And as a songwriter, his music has been recorded by Paul Anka and Johnnie Mathis. In time Nick chose to return to jazz and eventually decided to pursue a career as a solo artist. He's released 4 cds to date. On Just Come On In, his latest and his debut on Three Keys Music, Nick incorporates many R&B and funk influences and from that effort we have High Flyin' the excellent lead single.

CD: Just Come On In
Label: Three Keys Music
Site: Nick Colionne

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Highlights Hour Two
Missing You - Steve Cole:
It was Cole's father, a clarinet and saxplayer, who first exposed Steve to Jazz in its many varied forms. Following his father's example, the younger Cole took up the sax around the seventh grade after briefly trying the clarinet. He studied the instrument all through high school and attended university to polish his technical skills. However, not being entirely sure about which career path to take, Cole for a time abandoned his musical training, enrolling in a course of studies prescribed for a BA in economics. After being in the world of high finance for a few years, and in fact continuing his education to acquire his MBA, Steve finally realized that his heart gravitated to the world of music, not business. He chose to return to the one true passion in his life, and to use an old cliché, he’s not looked back since. Early on he hooked up with fellow Chicagoan, Brian Culbertson. Cole played a significant part on two of Brian's hit cds and Culbertson obligingly returned the favour by helping on Steve's debut. Their partnership continues to the present as each regularly contributes to the projects of the other, including all the track that we’ve chosen for today’s feature.

Label: Warner Bros.
Site: Steve Cole
Lonely Nights - Alex Bugnon :
Although the Swiss born keyboardist began on piano playing classical music, Bugnon soon developed a love for a wide range of jazz thanks to his father, a jazz guitarist, and his uncle, trumpet great Donald Byrd. As a youth, he became hooked on funk and was also influenced by many of the great artists of the day such as Carlos Santana, Herbie Hancock, and EW&F. Every July Alex would hang at the world famous Jazz Festival in his hometown of Montreux where he experienced the power of music in a live setting. That’s when he realized that was what he wanted to do. For two years, Alex studied at the Paris Conservatory of Music and then relocated to the U.S. where he attended the Berklee School of Music. For a time, he worked as a session player in New York City, backing a variety of urban and jazz artists. Then, in 1989 and by now a veteran performer, Bugnon finally released his debut album. The cd immediately established Bugnon as one of the core artists in the SJ genre, a position, which Alex further cemented with several subsequent and well-received releases. Southern Living is his latest. Although based in NYC, Bugnon felt it was time to try something just a bit different so for Southern Living he headed south to Atlanta to record with some of that city’s finest players and to give the cd a slightly different and perhaps more laid back flavour.

CD: Southern Living
Label: Narada Jazz
Venus Morena - 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 wide 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.

CD: Radio Contact
Label: Higher Octave Music
Site: Acoustic Alchemy

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