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This Week at Café

May 15th, 2005
Edition #363 PreviouslyThis Week at Café - Edition #362 Next

More fantastic music in two hours than was thought to be humanly possible ... but you deserve it! Pamela Williams highlights today's program with arguably the finest album of her career. Our superb FT segment is unparalleled. Jeff Golub, Michael Bublé, Ronny Jordan, & Bass X are featured with tracks form their latest releases. Add to that a new group called Black Gold Massive that's led by Chris Morgans, cofounder of DTTB and quite simply you have some of the greatest music that you'll hear anywhere!
But that's only the start. We'll also be hearing from Chris Botti, Michael Lington, Ken Navarro, Nils, Boney James, David Benoit, Queen Latifah and more as we serve up a musical feast of favourites that's sure to thrill & excite you ... only on Café Jazz, where exceptional music is the rule!!

In This Issue:

Sweet Saxations - Pamela Williams

Our Time - Bass X
Simple Pleasures - Jeff Golub
After 8 - Ronny Jordan
Quando, Quando,... - Michael Bublé
Don't Give Up Now - Black Gold Massive

Then & Now - 3rd Force

SPINLIST: Spinlist Ed#363

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Showcase CD
Sweet Saxations - Pamela Williams:

Not sure if you've heard the word, but the first lady of sax is back!! I'm referring of course to Pamela Williams Williams has resided in California since the late 80s, although it was her time growing up in Philadelphia that was primarily responsible for molding her 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 Pamela with an interest in that style of playing. In high school, she joined the Jazz Ensemble and embraced both contemporary and traditional forms. She scored a few gigs & toured extensively but chose to relocate to LA in 1989, primarily because of the opportunities it afforded in film, TV, & session work. Prior to launching her career as a solo performer, Pam was the featured saxophonist with both Patti Labelle and Teena Marie. In addition, she appeared with Babyface & Sheila E, and was also featured on The Arsenio Hall Show.

A multitalented artist who plays flute as well as a little piano, Williams made her solo debut in 1996 with The Saxtress, an album which immediately brought her name into the limelight. On that release and on each of her subsequent projects, Ms Williams has continued to exhibit a stylish blend of influences as diverse elements of her repertoire from Latin & jazz, to R&B, hip-hop and house, are expertly incorporated into her playing. Ever raising the bar higher, Pamela's previous record, The Perfect Love, represented her most accomplished work to date, that is until the release of Sweet Saxations! The music on this album takes all the ingredients that have key to Pamela's success and ... well ... kicks them up a notch! Funky & soulful, energetic and smooth, Sweet Saxations has it all. Once again contributing to the project as they did on The Perfect Love are fellow saxers Kim Waters and Dave Mann. So now, not only is the first lady of sax is back, she's sounding better than ever!

It's with loads of pleasure then that we place Sweet Saxations & Ms Williams in our musical spotlight. Kicking off the feature is Fly Away With Me, the album's fantastic lead single. Smooth, saxy, seductive, & suggestive, The Seduction opens hour 2. And then finally we needed a tune that would represent the quintessential Pamela Williams. It could easily have been any one of a number of superb pieces, however, none is sweeter than tune that bears the name of the album. And so we conclude with Sweet Saxations, the title track !

* Check out ... Pam's Gallery *

CD: Sweet Saxations
Label: Shanachie Entertainment
Web Site: Pamela Williams

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Fresh Trax: Part One

Our Time - Bass X:
Bass X is a group composed of several veteran sidemen that have enjoyed rich & diverse careers. Spearheading the project is bass player & band founder Larry Hubbard and joining Hubbard as principle members in the band are keyboardist Tim Gant, vocalist Michael White & guitarist Keith Henderson. All hail from the 'windy city' and formed Bass X in 1999. Although, their debut followed a couple of years later, it wasn't until 2003 and the release of their sophomore effort that Bass X broke nationally in the US. That album produced Vonnie, a track that appealed to a wide cross section of listeners & it proved to be a huge hit. What made the Bass X sound so attractive was their tantalizing blend of Smooth Jazz & contemporary R&B rhythms. They now seem set to build on & perhaps even outdo that success with Family Time. From that effort we present Our Time, the advance single which features the saxwork of Nelson Rangell. This is a superb piece and one that measures up quite nicely to the degree of excellence that we're learning to expect as the norm from Bass X!

* Note: At the time of this posting, the artwork for the new Bass X was not available, so we've used the previous album.*

CD: Family Time
Label: Liquid 8

Simple Pleasures - Jeff Golub:
Golub's blend of blues, rock, and jazz has made him one of the most popular guitarists in contemporary instrumental music. After attending Berklee in Boston, Jeff rose to prominence in the mid 80s as a top session player and sideman, working with artists such as Tina Turner, Vanessa Williams, and Rod Stewart. In fact, he enjoyed an 8-year stint with Stewart leaving in 1994, to pursue other musical interests. The resulting project was Avenue Blue, which served as a platform for Golub to showcase his somewhat prodigious talents as a guitarist. Three cds were issued under the Avenue Blue banner, each produced by Rick Braun, a fellow ex-Stewart band mate. Five more have followed under Jeff's own name with the forthcoming Temptation release as the most recent of these. From that album we have Simple Pleasures, a great track & the advance single!

CD: Temptation
Label: Narada Jazz
Web Site: Jeff Golub

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Fresh Trax: Part Two

After 8 - Ronny Jordan:
Ronny Jordan grew up the son of a preacher, and not surprisingly, the music that he heard at his church became an integral part of his formation. Thru Gospel he learned the intricacies of melody & harmony as well as the most difficult lesson of all, when playing less was in fact more. Ronny's talents first received broad recognition in 1992 with the release of The Antidote, his groundbreaking debut CD. Now regarded as somewhat of an acid jazz classic, many compositions on the album featured the unlikely fusion of Rap with Smooth Jazz. Now with several great releases to his credit, the self-taught guitarist, exhibits the confidence and maturity in his compositions and playing that can only come about through many years of honing one's craft. After 8 is his latest and from it we have the title track!

CD: After 8
Label: N-Coded Music
Web Site: Ronny Jordan

Quando, Quando, Quando - Michael Bublé with Nelly Furtado: In an era when the charts are dominated by pop, rap, & rock, Bublé's landing his debut in the Top 50 is particularly impressive. It was Michael's grandfather who exposed him to the music of the swing period & even early on, it seemed that Michael was destined for stardom. While still in his teens, he won the Canadian Youth Talent Search, released several independent albums and performed in a musical review titled Swing that traveled across the USA The connection with David Foster, the Grammy-winning producer, resulted in his major label debut. Although it took more than a year of concerts and promotional appearances, that album nevertheless eventually climbed to # 47 on Billboard. On his sophomore effort titled It's Time, Bublé builds on that foundation as he applies his unique style to a variety of pop classics. From that effort, we have one of his best!

CD: It's Time
Label: 143 Records/Reprise Records
Web Site: Michael Bublé

Don't Give Up Now - Black Gold Massive:
Out of the Big Apple come Black Gold Massive, a new name on the scene. However, the man behind the sound of the band is certainly no newcomer to contemporary music. He is Chris Morgans, creator, co-producer, & writer for the group. Among other things, Morgans owned & ran Internal Bass Records for a period of 8 years in the 90s & was also an original co-creator of Down To The Bone, the premiere jazz-funk unit from the UK. He left that band in the year 2000 due to creative differences and started work on Black Gold, so it's really a project that has been 5 years in the making! Chris is responsible for the "Black Gold" part of the band's moniker. Now the "Massive" are Cindy Mizelle & Simon T Bramley. Mizelle is one of the most sort after back-up singers around. She released a solo record in 1994, but when Luther Vandross called, the rest became history. She's sung with just about everyone in the business from Steely Dan and Whitney Houston to Beyoncé & George Benson. Meanwhile Bramley is a producer & bassist who also handles programming. He's worked with the aforementioned DTTB & also headed up the Mr. Gone project a few years back. So Chris, Cindy & Simon are Black Gold Massive and together they're due to release their debut shortly. Judging by Don't Give Up Now, the advance from that album, this band is sure to generate oodles of excitement!

CD: Stories
Label: Major Menace Entertainment

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After Hours ~ Exclusive to our Web Site :
There's a fair share of new music this time round. We're introducing Amarosa headed up by the Canadian duo of Lou Bartolomucci & Tony Carlucci. Also brand new to the show is NY keyboardist Mike Di Lorenzo & you won't want to miss either of those. Then there are some fresh sounds from Seal & Keiko Matsui and music from each of their latest cds. Hiroshima is on the show and 3rd Force is featured on a special extended T&N. So, as you can tell we have a terrific line up of super listening waiting just for you. We're starting with Patrick Yandall & from Just Be Thankful we have Let Me Love You featuring the saxwork of Greg Vail!

Then & Now Feature: 3rd Force

3rd Force
Higher Octave

Force of Nature
Higher Octave

Vital Force
Higher Octave

Force Field
Higher Octave

Gentle Force
Higher Octave

Driving Force
Higher Octave

3rd Force: At its nucleus, 3rd Force is propelled by the synergy generated by the trio of William Aura, Craig Dobbin, and Alain Eskinasi. Aura is considered a pioneer of New Age music. He has always been a strong believer in it's healing powers and many of his compositions were specifically composed for the healing arts. The Detroit-native enjoyed a significant solo career throughout the 80s and early 90s before 3rd Force and had recorded about a dozen albums under his own name. Craig Dobbin, on the other hand, is a classically trained pianist who has composed extensively for television and movies. Meanwhile, Dutch-born Eskinasi is responsible for the group's distinctive rhythms. He studied African drums for 6 years in Gambia & for a time was a key member of The Soto Koto Band.

3rd Force debuted in 1994 with a self-titled album & for the past 10 years the band has been a mainstay in Smooth Jazz. They offer a unique sound & style that's instantly recognizable and they've featured some of the finest talent in SJ as guests on their projects. Indeed, it was their second album that broke the sound of the Force onto the scene with a tune that featured Peter White. They've released 6 cds (as well as one best of project) and we have a track from each of the six. To start T&N, we're heading straight back to their debut for the track that bears the same name as the band & features the saxwork of Gary Herbig. Then we move straight to Here Comes the Night with Peter White and Set Yourself Free. That's followed by Follow your Dream featuring Brain Hughes & Mitch Manker and Revelation of the Heart with Paul Taylor and Brian Hughes once again. Finally This is The One from Driving Force wraps things up & completes one of the finest Then & Now feature that it's been my pleasure to present!

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