Every show is just a bit different! Sure we have our "formula" if you wish to call it that, whereby we try to hit certain elements with our musical selections. However, it's far from a simple template or checklist, since there needs to be a natural ebb & flow to the entire show. That's why each edition requires well in excess of twenty hours of intense scrutiny before we feel it's worthy of your consideration. With this in mind, I think we have one doozy of a program! Apart from our regular attractions which are documented elsewhere in this newsletter, there's an outstanding collection of music that includes Café Jazz favourites from Paul Brown, The Jazzmasters, Rick Braun, Vince Mai, Paul Taylor, Boney James, Bernard Oattes, 3rd Force, Nick Colionne, and Ronny Jordan among others.
Sunset - Camiel:
Coming to us from The Netherlands, Camiel is one of the more eclectic musicians that's creating many ripples of interest on today's contemporary scene. Although he's a new name in North American, Camiel is an accomplished artist and performer. He began studying classical guitar at the age of 10. Soon after, electric jazz guitar captured his interest & he began to blend its use with electronic music. At the Amsterdam Conservatory Camiel studied composing, recording, and arranging and since then, he's developed into a virtuoso on the cutting-edge of Dutch Pop music. He's also composed & produced for computer games, commercials, multimedia products and fashion shows. In addition to these various projects, a couple of years back, Camiel made his solo debut with the release of an album called Sunset.
|The effort presented an ultramodern blend of influences from high tech jazz, break-beats, and laid back bossa-lounge, to disco house, mid-seventies soul beats, new millennium R&B, and several exotic flavours. This here to for untapped musical melange caused a bit of a stir in the European community and now represents one of our most unique & intriguing imports.
Photo: Courtesy of Rendezvous
| Since its release, music from
the album has been showcased on some of today's best selling compilations,
including The Jazz Lounge Series and Ultimate Chill Out. Today we in our
own way add to that list, as Camiel and Sunset are now the subject of
our own showcase feature here at The Café. Eighty Eight is the
opener, a delectable tidbit drenched in a cool Euro vibe that features
a nice interlude with Markus Goldberg and his Fender Rhodes. El Alba is
the album's current single and opens hour two. Highlighting the track
is the keyboard work of Marty Belmondo as well as a bit of tasty flute
courtesy of Konstantin Klashtorni. Moreover, to close we have I'm Ready,
the album's first single to radio, which serves to eliminate any guesswork
about Camiel's impending fortunes in the contemporary arena!
Label: Rendezvous Entertainment
|Fresh Trax: Part One
McKay - Skip Prokop's Valecrest :
Near the start of his career, Skip Prokop was the drummer and songwriter for The Paupers who went on to record a pair of projects in the mid 60s. When the group disbanded, Skip found himself in demand as a session player. He appeared on the Peter, Paul and Mary hit I Dig Rock and Roll Music; he played on "Super Sessions" with Al Kooper and Mike Bloomfield; and he gigged with Santana, Cass Elliot, and Janis Joplin. Then in 1968, he formed Lighthouse, the groundbreaking rock ensemble that recorded five albums that went either gold or platinum. The band garnered numerous Juno awards and went on to headline many concerts around the world. Although he's played with Lighthouse on various reunion tours, Skip has for the most part been absent from the music scene. That is until his most recent venture with Valecrest and In The Centre Of. The album was recorded a couple of years back although it's just been released and from it we've selected a track that's somewhat reminiscent of the songwriting and performance style that marked Skip's earlier career!
CD: In The Center Of .....
Label: Race Records
Site: Skip/Race Records
Up - Eric Darius:
Now, here's a young musician who is quickly developing into a rising sensation. No surprise about that either, as we were one of the first to get hip to the sounds of the Tampa based sax player several years back with his independently released solo debut. Eric was only in his mid teens when he first recorded that project although it wasn't promoted nationally until a few years later. For his follow up effort, Darius enlisted the production talents of Ken Navarro, a move that helped catapult the twenty year old into the upper echelons of young Smooth Jazz artists. It brought an appearance at the Catalina Jazz Trax Festival hosted by Art Good and The Smooth Jazz News named Darius as their "Debut Artist of the Year"!
Meanwhile for the past year or so, Eric has appeared as a member of Brian Culbertson's back up band while continuing to advance his solo career. That affiliation has led to Culbertson's participation on Just Getting Started, the new one from Darius. In addition, the album features collaborations with Paul Brown, Euge Groove, and Jeff Lorber. In any event, from the now well-seasoned but still only twenty-two year old and what is already his third release we have Steppin' Up, the advance single!
CD: Just Getting Started
Label: Narada Jazz
Site: Eric Darius
|Fresh Trax: Part Two
The Moment - Althea René:
Classically trained as a flautist, Althea René comes from a family that has strong connections to the music industry. Growing up in Detroit, Michigan, her father forged a career as a sideman with numerous Motown stars and thereby provided Althea with a fertile grounding in music. René began studying flute at age four and while in college, she played with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, before turning her attention to jazz and popular music. For a time Althea studied with the legendary Donald Byrd while gaining further inspiration from the works of Hubert Laws. Over the years, she has developed her own creative style to the point where she is widely regarded as one of the top jazz flautists in the US. Following the 2000 release of her debut, In the Moment is now René's 3rd and most compelling release. This album should turn more than just a few ears as Althea establishes her own unique and intriguing voice. The record title suggests that one might try to live life to the fullest. After listening to this album, it seems that Althea has accepted this as her credo, for if the music is any indication, this indeed is the moment for Ms René!
CD: In The Moment
Label: Chocolate Caramel Music
Thunder - Spyro Gyra:
In the mid 70s, Spyro Gyra created a new & unique sound, one that was inspired by a blending of jazz fusion, pop, and R&B. Their debut was released in 1976. Now 30 years and 24 albums later, leader Jay Beckenstein confesses, "… it's not always easy to develop new material." Over the years, there has generally been an attempt to veer away from what was done on previous records while simultaneously attempting "to embrace anything that explores new ground." This philosophy has kept the sound of the band fresh and allowed them to maintain their position as a front-runner on the contemporary scene. A case in point is this latest release. Never allowing their sound to become pigeon holed, this album is packed with creative gems and no doubt we'll be going to it frequently in the weeks ahead!
CD: Wrapped In A Dream
Label: Heads Up
Site: Spyro Gyra
Back - Paul Thomas Yoder:
An accomplished musician with somewhere around 30 years of experience under his belt, Paul Thomas Yoder grew up in Monterey Park, CA. His home was filled with musical influences. His mother was a concert violinist and his brother studied trumpet for a while. PT's own musical forays included attempts at both violin and piano before he took a stab at playing trumpet. The connection was immediate! Over the years, Yoder has frequently been acknowledged for his unique and creative approach to playing while also being the recipient of numerous awards in the So-Cal area. Dreamin' is his debut. Although the album was recorded and released back in 2004, active promotion was only recently initiated. To this point, reaction to several tracks has been very favorable. Our favorite? Well, not surprisingly, it's the one we've selected for this occasion. Simply outstanding!
Site: Paul Thomas Yoder
|After Hours ~ Exclusive to our Web Site :
|On this edition, we are spotlighting Snake Davis on our Then & Now feature. We have selected a trio of tasty tracks from one of Britain's premier sax players so be sure to look & listen for that at about the 40 minutes mark. Now if you've listened before you're probably familiar with the rest of this spiel, as apart from that we've done a bit of exploring just to see what we could find. Our efforts were well rewarded. Consequently, we have the latest from Chris Standring, Donald Fagen, and our favorite lady of sax Ms Pamela Williams. There is new music from Main Gazane, Alex Bugnon, Michael O'Neill, and Jason Parra as we delve ever more deeply into their releases. We're introducing The David Cochrane Experience, Kush, and Dan Carlin & Friends, there's more from Bob James and his new one as well as from Bradley Leighton who we introduced a couple of weeks back and that's all ahead in a great action packed fun filled segment that's stretched into about an 80 minute presentation. Starting things, we have one of the few tracks from Jeff Golub's Temptation that is still new to our show!
Then & Now Feature: Snake Davis
Snake Davis: Snake has enjoyed a lengthy career as one the premier saxmen in the UK. He's appeared with all the big names on the British Pop scene, as well as with many visiting artists from overseas. As the resident sax player on Tonight With Jonathon Ross on British Tellie, he's played with a lengthy list of top performers, one which has grown to include James Brown, Smokey Robinson, and Chaka Khan. He's appeared with the Eurythmics and played all featured sax and flute parts, on record and on tour, for the likes of Lisa Stansfield and M-People. For the past several years, Davis has also regularly contributed to Paul Hardcastle & his Jazzmasters projects.
So it is, that for the feature we begin with Adder Lessons, Snake's most recent release which in a way satisfies both aspects of Then & Now. From that effort, we're presenting the very hip Slippin and Slidin. From Snakebites we pulled You're The One a track which proved to be modest hit on the British smooth scene. And finally from Hysteria, there's Snake's great take on The Hustle, the Van McCoy smash from '75!
Site: Snake Davis