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

May 22, 2005
Edition #364 Previously Next

A fabulous showcase feature, an incredible assortment of Back Trax & more!! All contribute to making this edition one that's not to be missed!!
There's music from some of our perennial favourites such as Nils, Acoustic Alchemy, Chieli Minucci, Allon Sams & Les Sabler to name a few. Also appearing are Paul Taylor, Matt Dusk, Bass X, Chuck Loeb, George Scott, Sade, & Eric Darius... a perfect blend of new & old as well as an appealing mix of established stars & those deserving broader recognition. That's all right here on Café Jazz, where the music is always unique, relaxing, and fresh!!
In This Issue:

Perfect Island Nights - Bobby Caldwell

Luis - Billy Joe Walker Jr.
Sold - Bernard Oattes
Alone With You - Brian Culbertson
Smooth Groove - The Jazzmasters
Sleight of Hand - Joyce Cooling


SPINLIST: Spinlist Ed#364

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Showcase CD
Perfect Island Nights - Bobby Caldwell:
Bobby inherited his love of music from his parents who were both musicians and who hosted one of the first variety shows in the early days of television. It was through the program that Caldwell was exposed to a wide array of music and thereby he discovered his career path. Admittedly his initial forays into music were a bit rebellious as he performed selections by Hendrix and Cream in small clubs across America. Bobby enjoyed a variety of influences though, including Little Richard with whom he played lead guitar for two years. However, Caldwell soon discovered his niche when he turned to a blend of jazz and R&B. His breakthrough came in 1978 with What You Won't Do For Love. The success of that hit and his subsequent projects, firmly entrenched Caldwell as a staple artist in the SJ format for most of the 80s and 90s and propelled him to super stardom in Japan. Additionally, Caldwell developed into a prolific and highly sought-after songwriter, having penned tunes for the likes of Chicago, Boz Scaggs, Al Jarreau, and The Commodores among many others.

For a time, Bobby shifted his focus when he starred as Frank Sinatra in the Las Vegas production of The Rat Pack is Back. This prompted the release of a pair of projects that featured standards from the big band-era. Now after a hiatus of about six years, the king of the pop/jazz ballad is back with Perfect Island Nights. True to the mood that the title suggests, Perfect Island Nights is a warm & inviting musical sojourn. It's brimming with intoxicating melodies that explore the universal themes of love & romance, all under Caldwell's able guidance. As we begin the showcase feature, we present the team of Bobby Caldwell & Deniece Williams. Ms Williams is an award winning vocalist whose own career also stretches back to the 70s. Together they deliver a fantastic version of Where Is The Love. That song was a huge hit for Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway back in 1972 and as such, it's understandably a tough tune to cover. However, Caldwell & Williams are more than up to the task!
(Photo Courtesy of Bobby's Web Site) Then opening hour two is the title track which perfectly captures the sensation of a warm moon-drenched tropical evening complete with swaying palms & a refreshing ocean breeze all under a starlit sky. It's undoubtedly one of the finest ballads to have been recorded in many a year and it's also my personal favourite on the disc. And to conclude the feature we have I Need Your Love, a tune with a decidedly rock edge & one that well illustrates another facet of Caldwell's range & versatility as a vocalist. Perfect Island Nights provides the perfect back drop for an hour of musical bliss as Bobby Caldwell presents what may well be his finest effort to date!

CD: Perfect Island Nights
Label: The Music Force Media Group
Web Sites: Bobby Caldwell

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Back Trax: Part One
Luis - Billy Joe Walker Jr.:
Completely self-taught as a musician, Walker has enjoyed a varied & lengthy career that stretches back to the 1970s. The native of Midland, Texas spent several years in LA before being coaxed to practice his craft in Nashville, moving there permanently in 1985. In the time since, Walker's name has assumed legendary status in country music circles. He became in-demand as a session guitarist, while developing as a highly regarded producer. For a period in the mid-80s thru until the mid-90s, Billy Joe also explored a variety of musical themes through a series of well-received solo releases. However, he chose producing as the focus for his efforts when a project that involved Bryan White became a huge country smash hit in 1995. Nevertheless, it was Warm Front, Walker's own sixth release, that made Billboard's somewhat misnamed top 10 new age albums for 1993 and we have a track from it just for you. So get set for a musical treat as I know you're gonna love the one that we've selected!

CD: Warm Front (1993)
Label: Liberty Records
Sold - Bernard Oattes:
The Dutch-born vocalist spent a couple of years in England furthering his education, but upon returning to The Netherlands, Oattes quickly became immersed in its music scene. One of his earliest involvements was The Limit, a pop band that scored a few international dance hits & for which he was a founding member. Although he composed for & produced other pop-orientated groups, Oattes felt a need to expand his own horizons. In that regard, he issued his debut in 1992 and gained some well-deserved exposure in North American. His sophomore release, Soul Detective, followed a few years later and presented a further refinement on Oattes's sophisticated blend of pop & jazz. The presentation was impeccable and not surprisingly, the album was considered by some as one of the finer releases in 1995. From that effort, we're featuring Sold, an irresistible track that's highlighted by the inspired saxwork of Kees Ten Dam!

CD: Soul Detective (1995)
Label: CGR Productions/Sin-Drome Records

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Back Trax: Part Two

Alone With You - Brian Culbertson: Culbertson's name has been synonymous with outstanding music since he first broke onto the SJ scene just over 10 years ago. Brian's dad was a high school band director and helped him develop an ear for music as well as teaching Brian a variety of instruments. Culbertson began on piano at the age of eight, but soon added drums, trombone and bass to his musical arsenal. Bored with classical recital pieces, he began composing in junior high and experimented with a synthesizer and an old four-track recorder. Soon after graduating, Culbertson headed to Chicago to further his musical studies and with the help of a family friend, he signed a deal with Mesa/Blue Moon. Shortly thereafter Brian more or less single-handedly recorded his debut album, Long Night Out, in the bedroom of an apartment that he shared with three college buddies. The project was a resounding success. It rose as high as #2 and occupied the Top Five of the adult contemporary charts for ten consecutive weeks. From that effort, we're presenting the track that started it all !!

CD: Long Night Out (1994)
Label: Bluemoon Recordings
Web Site: Brian Culbertson

Smooth Groove - The Jazzmasters: Back in 1984, Paul Hardcastle emerged on the music scene with an infectious blend of jazz and dance music. He scored a major hit in the UK with "19", a record that featured a commentary on the war in Vietnam. Meanwhile another track called "Rainforest" became a #1 hit on the dance charts on both sides of the Atlantic. For the next few years, Hardcastle experienced varied success with his own albums while he turned to producing and remixing for other artists. That all changed in 1993, with the release of Hardcastle's first in a series of Jazzmasters projects. The Sound of Summer, as Hardcastle nicknamed the album, experienced unprecedented popularity in Japan and then in due course, it swept across the USA and around the world enjoying a response that was overwhelming. On this occasion though we're heading to the follow up project, the suitable titled Jazzmasters II, which was issued a couple of years later. From that album we're featuring Smooth Groove, a track that nicely reflects our musical philosophy. It's highlighted by the sax work of Snake Davis & remains one of Hardcastle's best!

CD: The Jazzmasters II (1995)
Label: JVC
Web Site: Paul Hardcastle
Sleight of Hand - Joyce Cooling:While she was growing up in the New Jersey and New York areas, Cooling developed tastes that ranged from diverse to eclectic. One day she inherited a large number of Jazz albums which spurred her love of that musical style. A few years later Joyce moved to San Francisco and began dabbling in keyboards and percussion. Although music had long been the most passionate part of her life, a career as a musician seemed remote. However things began to take on an entirely different perspective when she started an African drumming class. Then things suddenly crystallized when she heard a solo by guitar legend Wes Montgomery. According to Joyce, " From then on, it was as if the guitar had chosen me".

Teaching herself how to play, Cooling developed a finger picking style that's given her a totally unique sound. She performed a variety of gigs including many straight-ahead sessions & gained oodles of credibility by appearing with jazz giants such as Stan Getz, Joe Henderson, Airto and Charlie Byrd. In the mid-80s she met Jay Wagner and the two instantly discovered their songwriting compatibility. It wasn't until 1996 however, when South of Market, her San Francisco inspired hit, and her album Playing It Cool took the contemporary jazz world by storm. Both soared to #1 and Joyce was named the best new Smooth jazz artist of the year. From that album we're featuring a track that leaves no doubt whatsoever as to Joyce's creativity & talent as a guitarist!

CD: Playing it Cool (1997)
Label: Heads Up International
Web Site: Joyce Cooling

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After Hours ~ Exclusive to our Web Site:
Exciting news for lovers of new music!! On this installment, we have new music & nothing but new music as we present a total of 14 never-before-been-played-on-our-show tracks. The new cd from Jeff Golub just arrived & I must admit I'm more than just a little impressed. It definitely ranks as one of the finest releases to this point in the year & I'll have a tune from it on today's edition. We're also exploring a few recent projects among them cds from Jeff Kashiwa & Michael Haggins. Then there are recent arrivals from DTTB & Walter Beasley. Richard Elliot has a new cd that's coming out soon. We have the advance from that as well as one from Jim Brickman & his new one. There's more brand new music from Marcus Miller & Lalah Hathaway and we're introducing the sounds of Ralph T. Lofton, JD Project , Jeanette Harris & Jackiem Joyner. But we're not done yet since we also have a great track from Dave Sereny & The Jazz Room Presents Smooth Jazz. That's it, a total of 14 never-before-been-played-on-our-show tracks. With all these fresh selections, you know it's gonna be great!

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