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

October 9th, 2005
Edition #379 Previously Next

Here we go again! As soon as I start listing the artists & music that we've reserved for this program, the entire show sounds as though it's a highlight. Just read on and you'll se what I mean.

We have a fabulous line up that includes selections from Chieli Minucci, Pamela Williams, Brain Simpson, Queen Latifah, Boney James, Acoustic Alchemy, Soul Ballet, Paul Hardcastle, Nicolas Bearde, Mark Antoine, & Marion Meadows! Throw in a superb showcase feature and an unparalleled installment of Back Trax and you have a program that should not be missed.
In This Issue:

The City - Paul Brown

Daybreak - Freddie Ravel
Highway 60's Revisited - Grant Geissman
Pulse Point - Ken Navarro
Precious Time - Keiko Matsui
Tequila Frenzy - Shilts

Then & Now - Jeff Golub

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Showcase CD
The City - Paul Brown:

For the past 20 years, Paul Brown's expertise as a producer has helped fuel the popularity of Smooth Jazz. Brown has worked with all the prominent names in the genre, from Sam Riney & Boney James to George Benson and Peter White. He's earned a pair of Grammys & has been the genius behind an impressive string of over 40 #1-hits. He's considered by many as simply the best in the business at what he does. Brown's move to a career in music was all very natural. His parents were both studio musicians based in Los Angeles; they worked as vocalists & arrangers in the record industry, in movies, & on TV variety shows. They brought Paul to many of their gigs where the impressionable youth had the chance to see all the biggies, Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, & Louis Armstrong to name a few.

Brown learned a bit about the performing side of music when he started on drums at five and then a couple of years later he picked up the guitar. Paul played in a variety of bands throughout high school and started as a studio assistant at 15. After studying math & music at the University of Oregon, he returned to L.A. While growing up Paul had listened to The Grateful Dead, Eric Clapton and Jimi Hendrix, but when he heard George Benson's Breezin' his tastes swung to jazz. He continued as a professional drummer until he was 23, but got into engineering as an apprentice before establishing his own credentials. It wasn't until last year that Brown finally stepped out as a front man with Up Front, which for the first time showcased his talents as a guitarist. Having learned a lot about musical structure and melody in his time behind the console, Paul was more than ready to make his own record. He came across as a polished performer with all the finesse of a seasoned musician!
Courtesy of Paul's site

His sophomore effort entitled The City, after the 1970 Mark- Almond tune of the same name, sees a further evolution in Brown's style as a soloist and in our humble opinion it rates one of the finer albums that we've showcased & indeed is one of the finest releases for the year! So as we place Paul Brown & The City in our music spotlight, we begin with the moody & melodic title track. Brown supplies an instrumental as well as a vocal version of the tune, both featuring the saxwork of Boney James. It's the instrumental that we're going to on this occasion. The soothing Hello Again opens hour two while we've reserved Side Steppin', a track co-written by Brown, Allon Sams & TFOXX, for the finale to our feature!

CD: The City
Label: GRP Records
Site: Paul Brown

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Back Trax: Part One
Daybreak - Freddie Ravel:
When describing Ravel's piano work, adjectives such as brilliant & truly great have often been used. Freddie has enjoyed a two decade career in music during which he's achieved international acclaim. His passion for piano began when he was only five. Right from the outset, it was clear that the LA native was a gifted player. He went on to graduate with honors from CSU and soon after established himself as a first call studio musician. Ravel's ability to blend musical styles has afforded him the opportunity to participate in a variety of collaborations with artists as diverse as Quincy Jones, Sergio Mendes, Al Jarreau, & Madonna. Beginning with his 1991 solo debut, Freddie has also enjoyed a modest yet highly successful career as a front man. His first two albums reached the top ten while his 2001 release scored the #1 hit, "Sunny Side Up". Ravel is planning to launch a follow up project in the not too distant future & in anticipation of that we've included an absolutely wonderful tune from his Midnight Passion debut release on our BT feature!

CD: Midnight Passion (1991)
Label: Polygram
Site: Freddie Ravel
Highway 60's Revisited - Grant Geissman:
Those of you with a long & keen memory may remember Grant Geissman for his guitar solo on the 1978 Chuck Mangione hit, Feels So Good. With eleven highly regarded solo albums, the San Jose native was in his own right for a time a very popular recording artist. Beginning with his solo debut in the late 70s thru until the late 90s, Geissman had five of his projects reach the top 10 for national airplay in the US with a pair rising to the lofty #1 spot. For the past few years Grant has been in-demand as a studio player as well as maintaining a busy schedule working on a variety of scores for film & TV. In any event, we've selected a track from 1998 & In With The Out Crowd and what has to this point in his career proved to be Geissman's most recent release. It's called Highway 60's Revisited. It's a suitably titled track as it perfectly captures the vibe & feel of the 60s and reminds me of psychedelia and doing the fruge!

CD: In With The Out Crowd (1998)
Label: Higher Octave Jazz
Site: Grant Geissman

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Back Trax: Part Two
Pulse Point - Ken Navarro:
Ken Navarro began his career in LA as a premiere session player before setting out as a solo artist and simultaneously launching the Positive Music label. Over the years he's crafted an incredible string of albums with selections that are highly melodic, totally uplifting, & are always delivered with the utmost taste. Navarro's name on a project is invariably a guarantee that it's going to be great! With each successive release, he's achieved ever increasing recognition so it's no wonder that he's considered a leading stylist in Smooth Jazz. He now enjoys a worldwide fan base & has long been a perennial favourite on our show. Although I could have chosen any one of perhaps a dozen quintessential Ken Navarro tracks, on this occasion we're returning to Navarro's Island Life cd from the year 2000. The album spawned a pair of hits at SJ radio and enjoyed airplay for a solid year. Navarro himself considers Island Life as one of his best efforts and from it we're featuring a selection that for us at least, rates as one of his finest!

CD: Island Life (2000)
Label: Positive Music
Site: Ken Navarro
Precious Time - Keiko Matsui:
Listing artists as diverse as Rachmaninoff and Maurice Jarre among her influences, Keiko Matsui has developed a style that's been lauded as one of the most distinctive in contemporary music. Keiko began piano at the age of five and by junior high she was already performing her own compositions. Although she graduated from university majoring in children's culture, Matsui nevertheless continued her musical studies. She was just 17 when she earned top honours at the Yamaha Foundation resulting in her selection as a Yahama recording artist. Ms Matsui composed her first major film score later that same year all while fronting a jazz combo. After recording 4 albums in her native Japan, the newly married Matsui used her honeymoon money to help fund the release of her critically acclaimed North American debut in 1987. Now with a total of 20 solo releases to her credit, we're returning to 2002 and the Ring for one of the prettiest pieces she's ever recorded!

CD: The Ring (2002)
Label: Narada Jazz
Site: Keiko Matsui
Tequila Frenzy - Paul 'Shilts' Weimar:
Hailing from London England, Weimar began playing sax in his early teens and joined the National Youth Jazz Orchestra at fifteen. Playing with the NYJO, afforded Paul the opportunity to work with legendary names such as Nancy Wilson and Mel Tormé. As such, it was understandable that he left school & turned professional when he was just 16. He began gigging at a variety of clubs and was soon backing international acts that included The Temptations and the Four Tops. Turning his attention to the session scene, Paul recorded with the likes of David Bowie & Jimmy Page. In 1994, he was asked to join the British soul funk band The Brand New Heavies and this began an association that lasted for six years. It was thru the Heavies however, that he met Neil Cowley who later introduced Paul to Stuart Wade, the founder of Down to the Bone. After contributing to a pair of albums, Paul was asked if he would like to front the DTTB live touring band in the US. This subsequently led to the release of See What Happen, Shilts' debut that earned him a nomination as best new SJ artist for 2001!

His nickname by the way came about as a result of watching a soccer match on television. The goalie for the team that Paul was cheering for let in a particularly weak goal. Weimar exclaimed "Shilts how could you!' in a rather animated sort of way, so that whenever he would wail on stage, friends would yell 'Shilts' to heighten his performance & bring back all the passion & energy of that moment! Although he's been silent on the solo front, there have fortunately been several DTTB releases in the past few years that have featured Shilts' spirited playing. Yet none may compare to the dynamic of the track that we've selected!

CD: See What Happens (2001)
Label: Higher Octave Jazz
Site: Shilts

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After Hours ~ Exclusive to our Web Site :
On this occasion we're spotlighting Jeff Golub on our T&N feature; there's more from Richard Elliot & Jay Soto as we explore their albums; and we have brand new music from Hugh Masekela, Gretchen Lieberum, and Alex Bugnon. If you're looking for something that's just a bit different, check out After Hours where the music is always distinctive & fresh!
Then & Now Feature: Jeff Golub & Avenue Blue

Avenue Blue


Out of the Blue

Dangerous Curves

Do It Again

Narada Jazz

Jeff Golub: Jeff Golub's bluesy tinged blend of rock & soul fused with jazz has found an avid fan base among the smooth jazz crowd! The native of Akron Ohio honed his chops while attending Berklee in Boston before relocating to NYC. Shortly after arriving there in 1980, Golub became a member of Billy Squier's band.

Photo ~ album insert for Temptation
Jeff performed on several albums & took part in three world tours. This subsequently led to his rise as a prominent & in demand sideman. In that regard, Golub backed many of the top names of the day, a list that included Tina Turner, Vanessa Williams, and Rod Stewart. In fact, the stint with Stewart started in 1988 and lasted 8 years in all. It was that same year that Golub released Unspoken Words, his hard to find solo debut that has been out of print for some time. He was still a member of Stewart's band when he hooked up with Rick Braun in 1994 and released the first of his critically acclaimed Avenue Blue projects, an album that primarily served as a platform to showcase Jeff's somewhat prodigious talents as a guitarist.

The self-titled debut went on to reach the #2 spot on a couple of charts and its success spurred Golub to pursue a solo career. A total of 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. Possessing a sound & style that sets him apart from the rest, Golub has gone on to become one of the most popular guitarists in contemporary instrumental music. Temptation is his latest release and sees Golub connecting with top producer Paul Brown for the first time. The timing is serendipitous as Brown is now in the midst of launching his own solo career as a guitarist. In any event, Temptation may arguably be Jeff's finest release to date. Nonetheless, it's with great pleasure that we musically chronicle the evolution of Golub's solo career with a special extended installment of Then & Now. In the order that you'll hear them the selections are Stockholm, Always There, The Velvet Touch, No Two Ways About It (with Peter White), Jesus Children of America, & finally Evolution!

Site: Jeff Golub

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