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

April 2nd, 2006
Edition #401 Previously Next

Special Presentation - The Quarterly Review:
If it was new in the past 90 days and if it was great, then you're likely to hear it on this show! To this point in the year Spyro Gyra, Nick Colionne, Bob James, & Donald Fagen have been lighting up the airwaves and true to form, we have something from each of those. Admittedly, there's absolutely no hesitation on our part to go beyond what you'll hear on ordinary radio. After all, why rehash all the stuff that's already been so thoroughly hashed! Consequently, we're focusing on a few artist that may not be quite as well known. So check us out for a special vibe and some cool grooves starring TFOXX, Eric Darius, Althea Rene, Michael O'Neill, Tom Schuman, Paul Thomas Yoder, Vince Mai, Demo Cates, Danny Weis, Valecrest, Wavelength, Main Gazane, and RC & The Groovediggers. And then there's a little something in hour 2 called "The 5-Star Feature"!
In This Issue:

Ready For Love - Demo Cates
Cuatros - North Woodall
Mediterraneo - Willie and Lobo
Runaway - Bradley Leighton
Something I Heard - Jon Fessenden
Baby It's Alright - Incognito


More of The QR

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Highlights Hour One
Ready For Love - Demo Cates with Suzy Quinn:
Cates is a Detroit native who grew up during the Motown era. He was exposed to a diversity of styles and developed an appreciation for everything from jazz, hip-hop, & R&B, to Latin and more contemporary forms. For a time, Demo toured with the late Lenny Breau as a saxplayer and then later, as a vocalist, he was nominated for Juno Awards in both 1985 and 1988. Cates has been honing his skills as a musician since the age of nine but has always found his greatest challenge in musical stage productions. He studied at the Lee Strasberg School of Acting in New York City and in addition to appearing in numerous commercials, productions, and movies; he played Mufasa in the Broadway production of Disney's The Lion King. He's since relocated to Toronto.

A multitalented & multidimensional artist, Cates is led by his faith. "Music was a source of therapy in his youth, and it is this gift that Cates would like to pass on to his audience in the hopes that it will bring them comfort and hope." It's this unique combination of talent and life perspective that continues to attract listeners. Smooth…Try Something New is his most recent effort and although the album was originally released in 2004, it's just recently been repackaged and reissued. From that effort, we've selected a tune that Demo first recorded a few years back, however this new version, with however this new version, with Suzy Quinn helping on vocals, definitely lives up to the billing of the album title!

CD: Smooth...Try Something New
Label: Independent Release

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Cuatros - North "2unes" Woodall:
Although his name suggests just the opposite, North "2unes" Woodall hails from the south, from Mississippi to be precise. He grew up in Ohio and began learning guitar at the age of 11. In his teens, he emulated the styles of Ernie Isley, Santana, and Joe Walsh, all of which led to gigs with the Delvones and Round Trip Ticket. Woodall picked up the nickname "2unes" because of his ability to play so many different selections without ever having to repeat one. In subsequent years, North answered the call of the "new south" when he relocated to Atlanta to take advantage of performance opportunities and since then he's played with a variety of acts, from The Ohio Players to Will Downey. He appears regularly in a variety of venues as he bridges the gap between jazz and hip-hop. Hot & Cool is Woodall's somewhat tongue in cheek titled debut and from it, the southern based guitarist with the "northern" name serves up Cuatros, a catchy track with a nice vibe and an easy going party flavour!

CD: Hot & Cool
Label: Independent Release
Site: 2unesl

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Highlights Hour Two
Mediterraneo - Willie and Lobo:
Zambra is their tenth and latest release and with it, the musical saga continues for the unique acoustic duo recording as Willie and Lobo. The project that started things was Gypsy Boogaloo back in 1993, a set for which Rick Braun was the producer; in fact it was his very first effort as a producer. The album exhibited a varied amalgam of influences from gypsy music, jazz, and flamenco, to Tex-Mex, salsa, reggae and more. Violinist Willie Royal was classically training since the age of eight, but rebelled against that style as he gained inspiration from the rock 'n' roll of the day and from the music of Jean-Luc Ponty and Stephane Grappelli. Although he hailed from El Paso Texas, Royal spent time in exotic locales such as Turkey, Germany, France, the Netherlands, and Mexico, as he travelled the globe with his father who was in the US Air Force.

Wolfgang "Lobo" Fink on the other hand was born in Germany, but also lived in Spain, Jamaica and Mexico. He was already 18 when he picked up his first guitar and discovered his affinity for gypsy music when he heard an album by Manitas de Plata. He was so taken by the romantic and rhythmic nature of the playing that he searched out the guitarist and for a while lived with him in a gypsy camp in Southern France just so he could absorb more of the music. Gypsy Boogaloo reached #2 on the world charts and saw the start of a creative friendship that has endured as Rick Braun is once again producer for Zambra, marking the fifth occasion that he and Willie and Lobo have collaborated. From this distinctive release, we have chosen Mediterraneo, which features the beautifully romantic guitar work of Wolfgang "Lobo" Fink!

CD: Zambra
Label: Narada
Site: Willie and Lobo
Runaway - Bradley Leighton:
As a young man growing up in Seattle, Leighton developed a love for big band music while also being drawn to the R&B sounds of Tower of Power and Earth Wind and Fire. In time, he picked up the flute and became involved in a variety of school bands. His interests in jazz led him to explore the club scene; however immediately after high school, Leighton enlisted in the Army. There he played in the 9th Infantry Division band and not long afterward, he rose to musical director for the jazz ensemble. A tour to Seoul, Korea followed but after his discharge, Leighton remained in Korea for several years to teach and perform. Yet, in order to realize greater professional opportunities he eventually returned to Seattle. By now, an accomplished musician and teacher, Leighton spent the next fifteen years playing in a variety of R&B bands and straight-ahead jazz groups. In 2001, he relocated to San Diego, where he released his solo debut a couple of years later. Leighton now continues to teach while he performs and records, having just issued Back to the Funk, already his third release. From that effort, we have the groove blended with soul sounds of Runaway, the first single to radio!

CD: Back To The Funk
Label: Pacific Coast Jazz
Site: Bradley Leighton
Something I Heard - Jon Fessenden:
Jon Fessenden is a native of Akron Ohio who's been involved with music in one form or another for most of his life. He's developed into a versatile guitarist whose tastes & abilities range from jazz, rock, and swing, to Gospel, Classical, and Spanish styles. While attending college Fessenden, continued his involvement in the music scene and thereby shared the stage with Tom Browne, Marion Meadows, and Brian Setzer to mention a few. Somewhere along the way, he relocated to the Tampa Bay Area of Florida and he's now established himself in that developing hotbed for contemporary jazz. Fessenden regularly performs with his church choir at one of the largest churches in Tampa but his highest profile gig to this point has been as a member of Eric Darius's band. So now, after years of honing his craft and developing his own sound Fessenden felt the time was right for his debut. From that effort, we've selected Something I Heard, a very cool track that presents an exciting blend of Smooth Jazz and contemporary urban influences!

CD: Something I Heard
Label: Jonfess Music
Baby It's Alright - Incognito:
Although Incognito released most of their recorded material in the 90s, the band can trace their history as far back as the late 70s. It was Jean-Paul "Bluey" Maunick and Paul Williams, who first formed the group. The two had been co-leaders in Light of the World, a band in the disco-funk vein who had scored a few modest hits. However, just after the issue of their third album, Maunick & Williams changed personnel and renamed it Incognito. The ensemble debuted in 1981 but for the most part, was relatively inactive during the remainder of the 80s. In the meantime, Williams departed England for Finland prior to Incognito signing a record deal. The first single became a hit as part of Britain's burgeoning acid jazz scene and prompted the release of a sophomore album.

Since that time, Incognito has essentially represented the musical vision of one man, that being Bluey himself. Rather than a set line-up, over 50 musicians have contributed to the music. In that regard, Maysa (Leak) has been key, appearing on & off as a regular member. Leak sang back up for Stevie Wonder before winning a spot with Incognito by auditioning for Bluey over the phone. In any event, Maysa is back in the fold on the new release, which is named Eleven for rather obvious reasons. In spite of the fact that Maysa is a stand out on several tracks, we've opted for another selection just for the sake of creative flow to the set. It's a very pretty tune, which instead features the vocals of Imaani and is a highlight of the disc!

CD: Eleven
Label: Narada Jazz
Site: Incognito

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The 5-Star Feature!

Mismaloya Beach
Ray Parker Jr.
I'm Free

We Got The Groove
Gerald Albright
New Beginnings

Good To Go
Steve Oliver

Positive Vibe
Pamela Williams

Do It Again
Philippe Saisse
Body & Soul Sessions

Here's a collection of some nice new tracks played to this point only on After Hours that we're calling "The 5-Star Feature", the best name that I could muster. Each of the selections is from one of the more familiar names in the genre, that is to say each artist is a star in their own right. On a different level though, there's the 5-star ratings system, 5-stars of course being the best. So I'd like to think that's where we're coming from, in all it's pretty lame though I must admit. Fortunately, the music makes up for my feeble attempt at naming the set.

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After Hours ~ Exclusive to our Web Site:
More smooth grooves from the first 90 days of '06 including fresh takes from Chris Standring, Ramsey Lewis, Sergio Mendes, and Grant Geissman! We've added Jason Miles & Stevie Wonder to the mix! There's something new from Gene Dunlap and his latest cd, one that I've eagerly been awaiting. It arrived just prior to production and therefore it's brand new to the show. Still, it's on this edition because I just couldn't help myself! But, that's the way we roll.. We make the rules and then we break them! Some of the other names you'll be hearing? Jeff Magnus, Ian Martin, Dan Carlin, Mark Cassara, Michael Landin, Jamie Williams, The Collective, Rick Parma, Stephanie Sante, Eddie Reddick, Andrew Wasson, and Wilton Felder are all on this segment which has been s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-d to a full 90 minutes!

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