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

June 4th, 2006
Edition #409 Previously Next

This time another powerhouse line-up, with some of the finest sounds you'll hear anytime, anywhere! In addition to our regular features, be sure to catch these incredible artists: Turning Point, Paul Taylor, Swing Out Sister, William Woods, Greg Lowe, Shakatak, Vince Mai, Bob Baldwin, Paul Brown, Sam Riney, Wilton Felder and more including Jay Soto, Down to the Bone, Armi Grano, and Kat Hendrix! They're all in a fun-filled action-packed two-hour extravaganza!
In This Issue:

Groovosphere - Matt Marshak


City Lights - Nelson Rangell
Feeling Good - Steve Oliver
Time To Suttledown - Jeffery B. Suttles
You With Me - Adrian Conington
Just My Style -
Marion Meadows

AFTER HOURS: T&N Double Bill
Eric Darius
AND Peter Cor

Back to Top
Showcase CD
Groovosphere - Matt Marshak:

Although Matt Marshak may not yet be a household name, he should be. Marshak is an exciting young artist who's determined to bring contemporary jazz to a new generation of listener while taking it to the next level! Within five short years the Long Island native has laid the groundwork for a highly promising career and with the release of Groovosphere, he appears poised for stardom, all the more surprising given the fact he didn't take up guitar until the age of 17. Initially Marshak was drawn to blues and rock greats such as Hendrix, BB King, and Satriani but upon discovering the contemporary scene, the sounds of Larry Carlton and George Benson provided a new source of inspiration. In fact, after meeting Carlton, Marshak realized guitar and instrumental jazz would be his life and his passion. Then, as if to "make up for lost time", he would practice 10 hours a day and take up to three lessons per week!
Marshak became involved in the NYC scene and soon was performing regularly as a sideman with some of the city's greatest players. In short order, he recorded his own debut, did oodles of gigs, and most importantly honed his chops to razor sharpness. Matt was in the process of completing his sophomore project, when he submitted some finished tracks to an artist search cosponsored by radio station CD101.9. After entering as one of about a thousand contestants, Marshak appeared among the 12 finalists, eventually winning and earning the Best New Smooth Jazz Artist in New York City Award. Subsequently, he released This Time Around, an album which frankly floored us here at The Café and which received airplay around the world. Several of the tracks on the disc became immediate favourites and by year-end, the cd was among our top ten most played albums for 2004. At the time, we described Marshak's style as fresh & creative; that he exemplified a fantastic new breed of player emerging in contemporary music; and that if this was where the contemporary scene was headed then we could hardly wait until we got there.
Photo Courtesy of Matt's Site
Flash forward to the present and Marshak has issued Groovosphere. Judging from the tracks contained therein, the man has indeed arrived. This one has it all, funky rhythms, hip jazzy melodies, and unadulterated energy and passion! They're all here and to illustrate the point we've selected three prime examples! First up is Montauk Moon featuring the saxwork of David Mann. Big Skye Dream opens hour two while the get down and get funky sounds of Summerfunk bring things to a heady climax. Mark the summer of '06 on your events calendar! We're betting it will be the summer when Matt Marshak breaks thru and becomes a standard-bearer for a new era in smooth jazz!

CD: Groovosphere
Label: Nuance Music Group
Site: Matt Marshak ; Nuance

Back to Top
Fresh Trax: Part One
City Lights - Nelson Rangell : The Denver based saxplayer was the fourth born in a musical family. Brother Andrew is a Boston concert pianist, his other brother Bobby is a Parisian jazz woodwind player, while his sister Paula, based in New Orleans, sings professionally. For his part, Nelson didn't begin in music until the late age of 15 when he took up the flute. He discovered he had a passion for music and within six months, he was studying classical music and jazz at the Interlochen Arts Academy. Shortly thereafter, he started playing the sax. He went on to The New England Conservatory, and twice won Down Beat's best jazz and best pop/rock instrumental soloist. He moved to New York in 1984 and spent the next four years paying his dues and gigging with some of the world's greatest contemporary musicians. His 1987 solo debut was well received and with it's success and the critical acclaim his following projects received, Rangell quickly became known as one of the most exciting and diverse performers in the genre. He's now released 14 cds in all with Soul To Souls as his latest. From that effort, we have the urban groove of City Lights, funky and heartfelt!

CD: Soul to Souls
Label: Koch Records
Site: Nelson Rangell
Feeling Good - Steve Oliver: Although he'd been involved in music for many years, things didn't really start coming together for Steve Oliver until about 1995. The San Francisco born and bred guitarist attended a Rippingtons show, and afterwards went up to Steve Reid, percussionist for the band, introduced himself and made a contact. The paths of the two Steves crossed again about a year later when Oliver opened for Reid and Bamboo Forest. Reid really enjoyed Oliver's performance and three or so months later Reid phoned saying, he needed a guitarist for his new cd. Oliver appeared on that and the next Bamboo Forest project; he penned many of the tunes on both cds and ended up touring with Reid for three years. In the course of things, this led to a record deal & the release of First View, Oliver's solo debut in 1999. The effort was an unqualified success and resulted in Oliver's selection as Debut Artist of The Year by the Smooth Jazz News. Excellence has become the norm as subsequent releases have helped make Steve a star attraction in the Smooth Jazz arena. With Radiant his latest release Oliver appears poised to continue that upward spiral and from that effort we have Feeling Good, the opening track and an instant favourite!

CD: Radiant
Label: Koch Records
Site: Steve Oliver

Back to Top
Fresh Trax: Part Two
Time To Suttledown - Jeffery B. Suttles: Suttles is an LA born drummer who's backed many of the best in the business, a list that includes Bill Withers, Donny Osmond, Teena Marie, Brenda Russell, and Quincy Jones. Nonetheless, Suttles steady gig has been a 16-year stint with Taylor Dayne. Finally taking some time to compose and record on his own, Jeffery has at last made "Time To Suttledown", the play on words name he chose for his long over due solo debut. The release features Suttle's signature blend, from funky and jammin', to smooth and seductive, from percolating to explosive, yet always with an in the pocket rhythm and groove. From that effort, we have the very hip & cool sounds of the title track!

CD: Time To Suttledown
Label: Backhouse Records
You With Me - Adrian Conington: The UK pianist trained classically from the age of seven, but discovered jazz in his early twenties. After working primarily in a supporting role for a good portion of his early career, Conington released his solo debut entitled Sacred Roots in 2004. With the warm reception enjoyed by that album, Solsonata is now the follow up project with which Conington continues to expand upon and refine his inviting and fluid approach to smooth jazz. The confidence gained in the time between releases is apparent from the opening track. As with the previous album, Solsonata consists of original compositions, yet the influence of styles that inspire Conington are evident thruout. The project captures the essence of smooth, while melting elements of blues, Latin, soul, and R&B into a welcoming mélange. Nonetheless, it's Conington's gentle touch, his stylish presentation; his self-assurance and his artistic merit that make this project a winner. From that release, we have one of its most delicate and romantic tracks!

CD: Solsonata
Label: Independent Release
Just My Style - Marion Meadows: Now this guy's on a roll! Although Marion Meadows has been a part of the contemporary scene for many years, it's only on his last few albums that he's really begun to swing with the heavy hitters. Meadows has always had a sound entirely his own. Armed either with the soprano, his primary instrument, or with the tenor or alto, Meadows has charmed many a listener with his savoury sax work. However, sometimes it just takes time for a style to develop fully or for key factors to properly align. In retrospect, a shift to the Heads Up record label in the late 90s may have signalled the start of a new era. Then enter keyboardist/producer Michael Broening on the 2002 In Deep project. Instantly Meadows music entered a new realm. The follow up release served only to ripen the fruits of their collaboration. And now with the latest release entitled Dressed to Chill, it's apparent that Messrs Meadows and Broenig share the sort of creative compatibility may come along just once in a lifetime if at all! Regardless, Marion Meadows is fully within the prime of his career!

CD: Dressed to Chill
Label: Heads Up
Site: Meadows

Back to Top
After Hours ~ Exclusive to our Web Site :
On this edition, we're going with another Then & Now double bill. First up is Eric Darius with 3 selections, one from each of their releases. The feature on Peter Cor follows shortly thereafter, and once again, we have a series of tracks representing some of the best from his three albums. Apart from that, fresh sounds take over as all but one of our remaining selections are new never-before-been-played-on-our-show tracks, 13 in all. Our line-up includes more from Pamela Williams, Steve Briody, and Steve Oliver; the latest from Wayman Tisdale, Everette Harp, Turning Point, and J. Thompson; and new to the show are Keefe Marzell, Voodoo Funk Project, and Skii, a swinging vocalist coming to us from Australia. Pieces of a Dream and Wilton Felder are with us; there's something as well from Matt Marshak and his new one called Groovosphere. Matter of fact we're starting with a track from that very release. It features Steve Oliver on sax and is our pick to be one of the hottest tracks for the summer!

Back to Top
Then & Now Spotlight Feature: Eric Darius

Smooth Breeze

Night on the Town
Higher Octave

Just Getting Started
Narada Jazz

Eric Darius:Over the past couple of years, the Tampa-based saxplayer has developed into a sensation. Not that it comes as any surprise; we were among the first to get onboard the Darius express after hearing Cruisin', his independently released solo debut that he recorded while still in his mid teens. Inspired by the music at his church, Darius was ten when he first showed an interest in playing sax. He took a few lessons & before too long he was performing publicly. He excelled in academics, athletics, and in music, and played a major NYC festival as a member of his high school Jazz Ensemble.

Photo Courtesy of EricDarius.com

Although the band came in fourth out of twenty, Eric was thrilled when asked to jam with Wynton Marsalis and Paquito D'Rivera; he was still only 17 at the time. Following a tour with that same ensemble, this time to Japan, Darius began to assemble the various pieces that led to the recording of his solo debut. He'd been dreaming about a project since the age of 14 when he wrote Cruisin' in anticipation of getting his driver's license. That turned out to be the title track for the album, which he completed in the year 2000 although the cd wasn't promoted until 2003. For Night on the Town, his follow up effort, Eric enlisted the production talents of Ken Navarro while landing a record deal, moves that helped catapult the twenty-something year old into the upper echelons of young Smooth Jazz stars. It led to an appearance at the Catalina Island JazzTrax Festival and The Smooth Jazz News named Darius as their "Debut Artist of the Year"; not to mention that he was among the top five on our own in house 2004 list for "break thru artists"! Throughout the past year, Eric has appeared with Brian Culbertson's band, experiences which nurtured Darius's development as a songwriter and musician, qualities that are well reflected on Just Getting Started his latest the album.

The chemistry enjoyed by Culbertson and Darius led to Brian's participation on the project while collaborations with Paul Brown, Euge Groove, and Jeff Lorber are also featured. In any event, the cd shows a bit more polish than Eric's previous work, Darius's own playing displays increased confidence and maturity, while each track has a unique vibe and feel from laid-back ballads, to funk, R&B, soul and more. Nevertheless, it's our pleasure to present a track from each of Darius's three releases. In order, they are Moonlight, Eric's superb cover of the Al Green classic, Let's Stay Together and finally Back At Cha as we musically chronicle the career of Eric Darius, one of the brightest rising stars in smooth jazz!

Site: Darius

Back to Top
Then & Now Spotlight Feature: Peter Cor


Burning Bridges
Inner Cor

2 Hott!
Inner Cor

Peter Cor with Helios and The Jazzy Devils: Peter Cor's musical experiences have taken the native New Yorker to three continents. As such, his compositions are a reflection of many diverse cultures and styles. Cor successfully blends his jazz and classical training with Latin, funk, hip hop, world music and influences from many parts of the world.

Photo: Courtesy of The Jazzy Devils Site; PC... top right
The transplanted keyboardist has spent time in Europe and in California and has performed with Reggae and African groups and his resume includes compositions for Earth Wind & Fire, Lee Ritenour, and Tuck & Patti among others. In addition, his music has also appeared in film and on TV. For the past ten years, Cor has set up shop in Santa Cruz, CA. Cor first came to our attention a few years back with Helios. As a founding member of the band, Cor, guitarist Gary Carpenter, and drummer Chris Miller released their one and only album, an excellent fusion-based project packed with several rare musical gems. A couple of years later, Peter resurfaced with The Jazzy Devils and Burning Bridges.

Jazz clearly formed the corner stone of their music while, not surprisingly, their sound & style also intertwined a wide variety of influences. Originally recording as a quartet, the line-up expanded for the follow-up project and now in addition to Cor, band members include Gary Regina on saxes, on bass Roxy McDaniel, percussionist Renato Annicchiarico, and Chris Miller a hold over from the days of Helios, rounds out the combo. In any event, it's our pleasure to trace some of the highpoints in Peter Cor's musical career as we feature music from both of his bands. First up is Conversations, the first track that Cor & Carpenter wrote for the Helios project. Next is Gone Funkin' and finally Morning Flower as The Jazzy Devils take a welcome turn at smooth jazz. A nicely varied and interesting set of Cor classics!

Site: The Jazzy Devils ; Inner Cor

Back to Top

Listen to Café Jazz Radio Listen to Café Jazz Radio | Show Notes Show Notes / This Week at Café Jazz Archive | Program Profile Program Profile | Contact Information Contact Info
Hot Links to Cool CatsArtist Links | Cool Links Cool Links| This Week This Week@Café Jazz.ca | Music Den The Music Den / Playlists and More | Favourites (Most Played) Café Jazz Favourites
© 2006 Jazz Lynx / Café Jazz Radio