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

June 5, 2005
Edition #366 Previously Next

Here we go again with another fabulous edition!! Now I don't know if you were around in the late 1950s but there was an old TV series called the Bob Cummings Show. Cummings played a photographer & each episode would begin with a smiling Bob appearing with a big flash equipped camera. He would utter the phrase, 'Hold it! I think you're going to like this picture!' as he proceeded to snap away. In any event, for some reason that's not clear to even me, I feel compelled to paraphrase Bob's opening line so ... 'Hold it! I think you're going to love this program!' A fabulous Showcase Feature, an exceptional Back Trax Segment, and favourites from Jeff Golub, Steve Cole, 3rd Force, Joyce Cooling, Daryl Stuermer, & Gene Cannon!

In This Issue:

American/English - Acoustic Alchemy

Together at Last - Tim Heintz
Playing With Fire - Sam Riney
Should've Been Me - Slim Man
After Midnite - Ray Parker Jr.
Off Shore - Dotsero

Then & Now - Hiroshima
SPINLIST: Spinlist Ed#366

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Showcase CD
American/English - Acoustic Alchemy:
Greg Carmichael never thought he had the personality to become a solo performer & so he always preferred being part of a group. He studied at the prestigious London College of Music for a four-year period & was one of the first musicians to attach pickups to his acoustic guitar. Carmichael and his band began playing in bars in & around London & this was where he first met up with Acoustic Alchemy founder, Nick Webb. Webb was in the audience at one of the gigs. The two hit it off & soon after they were writing and performing together. Perhaps it was destiny calling when the pair answered an advert from Virgin Airlines. They were looking for something different that would set them apart and so Virgin decided to provide live entertainment on some of their international flights. The ad went on to mention that fire-eaters and jugglers need not apply. In any event, Webb & Carmichael were hired for the flight from England to the United States.

On their trip to the US, they brought a demo tape with them & headed to Nashville, where they stayed with a friend. In the course of events, the pair landed a record deal & unbeknownst to them they just happened to be in the right place at the right time with just the right sound. That first release was an overwhelming success as it provided a perfect fit for the emerging Smooth Jazz format. That brings us to Miles Gilderdale the other half of the current duo. Gilderdale had never heard of Acoustic Alchemy before being invited to audition in 1996. Alchemy had decided to change their sound a bit by replacing keyboards with electric guitar. Gilderdale got the gig & his first recording with AA was Positive Thinking. The experience proved to be a lasting one, as Nick Webb was very ill & was undergoing chemotherapy. In what must have been a heart-wrenching period, the band chose to live with Webb in order to complete the album. After the passing of Webb, Gilderdale took up the acoustic steel string guitar and eventually took his place next to Carmichael as part of an expanded Alchemy line up.

Ever true to the original concept of the band, Acoustic Alchemy continue to explore a rich & diverse musical landscape. Carmichael, Gilderdale & company, discover new & dynamic paths to creativity as they delve ever more deeply into their art in a most unique and captivating fashion. This second incarnation of the band, has now released four albums of outstanding material with American / English as the latest installment. The liner notes on the album make reference to a Winston Churchill quip, describing England & America as "two countries divided by the same language". Now bridging that gap musically is Acoustic Alchemy with American/English!!
(Photo Courtesy of Alchemy's Web Site)
And so it's with pleasure that we place a long time Cafe Jazz favourite in our musical spotlight. We begin with The 14 Carrot Café & a track that could very well have been written about our own Café Jazz. Then opening hour two is The Crossing. Snake Davis's superlative flute playing is featured on this one along with his contribution on various saxes. Combine that with the impeccable taste & presentation that Acoustic Alchemy has always exhibited, and you have a musical treasure! One of the finest tracks ever recorded under the Alchemy banner! And to conclude the feature we have So Kylie, a tune dedicated to Kylie, a dance diva in the UK. In all, a fantastic feature from beginning to end!!

CD: American/English
Label: Higher Octave Music
Web Site: Acoustic Alchemy

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Back Trax: Part One

Together at Last - Tim Heintz:
In recent years Tim Heintz has made quite a name for himself as a songwriter & sideman. He wrote the #1 hit Fly By Night for George Benson a few years back and he's written for Richard Elliot, Peter White, & John Tesh among others. Heintz has also recorded & performed with a lengthy list of top names including Olivia Newton John, Michael McDonald & Natalie Cole. However, Tim also had a fairly significant solo career in the late 80s to early 90s. He recorded a total of five solo projects during that period and his early work was a staple in the fledgling smooth jazz format. In fact a few of those tracks are still played regularly today. We take you back now to 1989 to Tim's self-titled 3rd release and the tune that first made me fall in love with the sound & style of this gifted musician!

CD: Tim Heintz (1989)
Label: TBA Records
Web Site: Tim Heintz

Playing With Fire - Sam Riney:
A native of Cuyahoga Falls Ohio, Riney began playing the sax at 15. He took part in the Performance Program at North Texas State, graduating in 1975, and then early in his career, he moved to Los Angeles. There Riney established himself as an in demand sessionist, performing with the likes of Ray Charles & Henry Mancini. Influenced by some of the greats on sax such as Coltrane and Getz, Sam in time gravitated to contemporary jazz. For a period in the 80s he appeared in support of vocalist Mark Winkler before setting out on a solo career. In 1988, Riney released a pair of projects, one of which was produced by Paul Brown who was then very early in his career. With the commercial success and critical acclaim enjoyed by those albums, Riney was acknowledged as a prominent voice in the early days of SJ. He went on to release Playing With Fire a couple of years later once again with Brown at the production helm. From that album I've chosen the title track, which features some superb guitar work from Grant Geissman. Riney & Geissman worked together on several occasions in the late 80s & early 90s always with exceptional results! Playing With Fire is the fruit of one of their finest collaborations!!

CD: Playing With Fire (1990)
Label: Spindletop Records/Sin-Drome Records

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Back Trax: Part Two
Should've Been Me - Slim Man:
The Slim Dude is the musical alter ego of Tim Camponeschi, who's had a long and varied career. Camponeschi worked as an in-house writer for Motown Music for a time & also MC'd a travelling country music talent contest in the 80s. One of the more interesting items on the Slim Meister's resumé is an appearance, not once but twice, as part of a choir that performed for the late pope at the Vatican a few years back. After a few efforts fronting a rock band, Camponeschi launched his solo career as Slim Man with his debut in 1995. He had five releases as Slim Man & gained an avid following with his love struck ballads. Nevertheless, the changing 'musical climate' in radio found the sound of the Slim Guy on the outs toward the end of the decade. More recently however, Slim found much broader based success as a member of the hip and funky group known as Bona Fide. Bona Fide were named the top new group in Smooth Jazz for 2001. In any event on this occasion, we revisit End of the Rainbow, the Slim Fella's debut for one of his finest tracks & one that continues to be a personal favourite!

CD: End of the Rainbow (1995)
Label: GES Records
Web Site: Slim Man
After Midnite - Ray Parker Jr.:
Born in Detroit Michigan, Parker started out as a session guitarist while he was still a teenager & played behind a variety of Motown acts. In 1972, Ray was asked to join Stevie Wonder at much the same time that David Sanborn & Denise Williams were part of the Wonderlove tour entourage. Then in the late 70s Parker created Raydio with whom he scored several R&B hits. He went solo in 1982. His most famous song, the million-selling "Ghostbusters", went to #1 on the R&B charts for a couple of weeks and it also enjoyed the #1 spot on the pop charts for three weeks all in the summer of 1984. He released several more projects throughout the 80s but when his parents became ill, Ray knew he needed to spend as much time with them as possible. He also decided to take a break from recording and so for past few years his career has been on hold. It's only recently that Parker has had thoughts of making a comeback. Nevertheless, on this occasion we return to his 1987 After Dark release and a fabulous tune that was a bit of a departure from the style that Ray was generally known for!!

CD: After Dark (1987)
Label: Geffen Records
Web Site: Ray Parker Jr.
Off Shore - Dotsero:
1990 proved to be a watershed year for the band out of Denver Colorado and their critically acclaimed debut. That project enjoyed the #1 spot on the contemporary jazz chart for a full five weeks. Dotsero's follow up releases met with similar success, with yet another #1 record and a couple of others breaking into the top ten or top thirty. The Watts Brothers, Stephen on sax and David on electric and acoustic guitars, have continued to guide the efforts of Dotsero. Well known for the energy of their live performance as well as for the fine caliber of their recordings, the group has endured & if anything, has only improved with age! On this occasion we go to the now five year old West of Westchester for a track that well captures the fundamental elements of the Dotsero sound!!

CD: West of Westchester (2000)
Label: Peak Records
Web Site: Dotsero

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After Hours ~ Exclusive to our Web Site :
I thought we had a lot of music on the past edition of AH, and we did, but we've outdone even ourselves. Check out the new music we have for you. This package of tracks includes music from Jonathan Butler, Warren Hill, Maysa, & Paul Hardcastle among many others. There's also something new from Jeff Golub & Down to the Bone as we continue to explore those recent & rather excellent albums. We have advances from Brian Culbertson, Paul Brown, & Lee Ritenour. Grady Nichols has a new single out & we have that for you. As well there's a special extended installment of T&N featuring Hiroshima. Patrick Yandall & Michael Brandeburg are on the show and we're introducing the sounds of D>tour as well as a couple of other fresh & cool sounds. All that and more on a special edition of AH presented in two parts. So once you're done listening to part 1 please be sure to click on the second paw for part 2 & another full hour of exceptional listening. Launching the installment is another great track from Nils & Pacific Coast Highway, getting us right into the funky grooves of After Hours!

Then & Now Feature: Hiroshima

Third Generation

Another Place

CBS Records

Between Black & White
Windham Hill Jazz


The Bridge
Heads Up

Heads Up

Hiroshima: It's now well over 25 years since the first ensemble to bear the name Hiroshima was formed by Dan Kuramoto, an East LA native, & by June Kuramoto, the only member of the band born in Japan. For the most part it has been June Kuramoto, one of the world's leading koto players, who has developed into the group's guiding creative force. The band's recording career began in 1979 with their self-titled debut, which for the first time presented Hiroshima's blend of musical flavours in a unique & compelling fashion. Hiroshima has always stood at the forefront of creating music with cross-cultural connections as East meets West. Throughout the years, they've remained innovative & dynamic. By incorporating many exotic & mystical elements they have in a sense tended to elevate their music to an almost spiritual level. Throughout the years, Hiroshima has maintained their popularity and have released a total of 16 albums, which includes one 'best of' project as well as a seasonal cd.

To begin our Then & Now feature, we head back more than 20 years to 1983 to Third Generation & what was already their 3rd album. From that effort we present Heavenly Angel, a track that was a big hit in Europe. Another Place, which followed a couple of years later was the band's first gold album & from that we have One Wish. We then move to You and Me from their 1989 East release. Part 2 of the feature launches hour 2 on this extended edition of After Hours. Spotlighted are some of Hiroshima's more recent efforts. Tracks include Joe Jazz, Shaka Phonk, and finally Kotosu-san from their current release. There aren't many groups that have been around as long as Hiroshima, but when you hear this mini-tribute, it should become pretty obvious why they have enjoyed their degree of longevity. It's a nice musical snapshot that includes some of the finest creations from an incredible ensemble, all framed by a highly successful near 30 year history as a band!

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