Café Jazz Radio - Canada's Smooth Jazz Connection
Featuring the Smooth Groove of Today's Jazz!
This Week at Café

June 11th, 2006
Edition #410 Previously Next

...once again a fabulous line up starting with our showcase album! On this occasion, we're spotlighting the veteran band celebrating 30 years in music - Pieces of a Dream and their latest release called Pillow Talk. We'll tell you a bit about the band members James Lloyd and Curtis Harmon and spin a few selected tracks as part of that feature. In hour two, we're back with a tasty five pack of Back Trax, our biweekly feature wherein we musically stroll down memory lane. We're dusting off favorites from back in the day and today's highlights are provided by Chuck Loeb, Philippe Saisse, and Ronnie Laws. There's something from Paul Jackson Jr., while the late Art Porter Jr. rounds out the feature. Those are all on Back Trax and that's in hour two. In the meantime, sit back, relax, and get set to enjoy the unique vibe of radio show unlike any other!
In This Issue:

Pillow Talk - Pieces of a Dream

Preview of ... - Paul Jackson Jr.
Sham Time - Ronnie Laws
Cruzin' South - Chuck Loeb
Riviera - Philippe Saisse
Lake Shore Drive - Art Porter

Then & Now - Alex Bugnon

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Showcase CD
Pillow Talk - Pieces of a Dream:

Founding members James Lloyd and Curtis Harmon began playing together as teens in The Classic Touch. They later adopted Pieces of a Dream as their band name, based on a Stanley Turrentine tune that was part of their repertoire. One day, Grover Washington Jr spotted them while they were practicing one of Grover's tracks. Washington enjoyed their playing. He joined them on Mister Magic, one of his own signature selections, and shortly after announced he wanted Pieces of a Dream as the first act for his new production company. In the course of events, Washington became their mentor producing their first three albums.

The recordings not only helped establish the Lloyd and Harmon as bona fide artists, but also helped define the emerging sound of smooth jazz. A few years ago, the pair were singed to the Heads Up record label. The move provided a fresh direction for their sound and breathed new life into their music; the result being what is now 4 albums that contain some of their finest work to date.

Photo:Liner No Assembly Required
Suffice it to say, their new one entitled Pillow Talk is no exception and it's indeed with pleasure that we place Pieces of a Dream and Pillow Talk in our spotlight. As usual we have a three tasty selections representing what we feel are some of the album's finest moments and plan on sharing those with you, I think you're gonna love'em all. So to begin, we're featuring a Curtis Harmon written track titled Sincere featuring the sax of Greg Riley; that's followed by Teresa at the top of hour 2 and our fave from the disc; while House Arrest the closer literally brings down the house!

CD: Pillow Talk
Label: Heads Up
Site: Pieces of a Dream

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Back Trax: Part One
Preview of Coming Attractions - Paul Jackson Jr. :
The Los Angeles guitarist attended the University of Southern California. He majored in music and following graduation, he became established as a first call session player. Over the years, Jackson's played with everyone from The Temptations and Luther Vandross to Ramsey Lewis and The Pointer Sisters. In the late 80s, he also launched a solo career and although these releases have been a bit sporadic, he's steadily developed as a front man, all this culminating in 2003's superb Still Small Voice which was one of the finer projects for the year. One of the efforts upon which Jackson showed a major leap in direction was his third album, 1993's A River In the Desert. From that excellent project, we have Preview of Coming Attractions highlighted by a cast of top-flight musicians and includes Gerald Albright, Bobby Lyle, Jeff Lorber, and Harvey Mason!

CD: A River in the Desert (1993)
Label: Atlantic Jazz
Site: Paul Jackson Jr.
Sham Time - Ronnie Laws:
A native of Houston Texas, Ronnie Laws is the younger brother of renowned jazz flautist Hubert Laws and was the third of four sibling musicians. Ronnie was self-taught, picking up the alto sax at eleven. For a time he entertained aspirations of a career in baseball. However, a serious eye injury dashed his dreams, after which, the sax became his passion. Laws moved to LA in 1970 working with legendary talents such as The Jazz Crusaders and Hugh Masekela. He enjoyed a two-year stint with Earth Wind and Fire, before venturing on a solo career. Pressure Sensitive, his 1975 debut, provided one of the most popular sax driven hits of the era and became the longest selling album in the history of Blue Note records. Over the next 20 years or so Laws continued to record a variety of projects, primarily in the R&B vein; with the exception of his Tribute to the Legendary Eddie Harris, recorded in 1997 and an album grounded in straight ahead jazz. Many fans consider this one of Laws' finest overall efforts and from that release we have the fantastic Sham Time!

CD: Tribute to the Legendary Eddie Harris (1997)
Label: Blue Note
Site: Ronnie Laws ; Laws/Soul Walking

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Back Trax: Part Two
Cruzin' South - Chuck Loeb:
Details forthcoming!

CD: The Music Inside (1996)
Label: Shanachie
Site: Chuck Loeb
Riviera - Philippe Saisse:
Details forthcoming!

CD: Next Voyage (1997)
Label: Verve Forecast
Site: Philippe Saisse
Lake Shore Drive - Art Porter:
One of the most promising young sax players of the 90s, Art Porter Jr. tragically perished when his boat capsized while on tour in a remote part of Thailand. He was only 35 and had just released Lay Your Hands on Me. From that effort which proved to be his final studio project, we featured Lakeshore Drive!

CD: Lay Your Hands On Me (1996)
Label: Verve Forecast
Site: Art Porter

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After Hours ~ Exclusive to our Web Site :
On this edition, Alex Bugnon steps into the spotlight on T&N. We've taken a track from each of the Bugnon's solo releases, making a total of nine selections in all and that follows the opening set and will be coming up in about 20 minutes. To take us thru, we have a nice set of tracks that are new to the show. This time out we're introducing Jack Prybylski and Gumbi Ortiz, meanwhile there's more from Ultrablue, Chris Standring, Nestor Torres and Nick Colionne as we explore their recent releases. David Benoit and Dan Siegel have new releases forthcoming and we have the advances from those. Included in our total of 11-brand-new-and-never-before-been-played-on-our-show tracks we have music from Phil Perry, and Bobby Lyle, so please stay with us for those as they're coming up just a bit later in the show. Right now, though we have the new one from Peter White. From his new one called Playin Favourites due to be released in a few weeks, here's What Does It Take, launching the great grooves of AH!
Then & Now Spotlight Feature: Alex Bugnon

Love Season
Orpheus Records

Head Over Heels
Orpheus Records

107° In The Shade

This Time Around

Tales From
The Bright Side


... as Promised
Narada Jazz

Soul Purpose
Narada Jazz

Southern Living
Narada Jazz

Narada Jazz

Alex Bugnon: Born & raised in Montreux Switzerland, Alex Bugnon began in music by learning a classical style of playing. Nonetheless, his father was a jazz guitarist and his uncle was the trumpet-great Donald Byrd and so the young Bugnon soon developed a love for jazz in its many varied forms. He became hooked on funk and moreover he was influenced by some of the pop artists of the day in the likes of Carlos Santana, Herbie Hancock, & EW&F. Every July as a youth, Bugnon would hang out at the world famous Jazz Festival in his home town. This proved one of the greatest guiding forces in Bugnon's musical formation as he experienced the power of music in a live setting!

Photo: Promo Shot
For two years, Alex studied at the Paris Conservatory of Music and then he relocated to the U.S. where he attended the Berklee School of Music. He spent time playing not only jazz but gospel and enjoyed gigging on the southern circuit. Upon graduation he moved to New York where for a year he drove cabs and taught French at the Berlitz School. Eventually he found work as a session player backing R&B artists such as Patti Austin & James Ingram. Through Freddie Jackson he made a contact at Orpheus Records where in 1989, and by now somewhat of a veteran performer, Bugnon finally released his debut album. The project immediately established Alex as one of the core artists in the SJ genre, a position, which he further cemented with several subsequent and well-received releases. So with the issue of Free, now album #9 in Bugnon's impressive catalogue, we figured the time fitting for an Alex Bugnon Then & Now Spotlight feature and that's exactly what we have with one piece from each and every one of his releases to date.

In order the selections are Yearning for Your Love and Missing You from Bugnon's first two releases; Heart of New York and Dasheen represent a pair of projects released on Sony's Epic Records while Harlem on my Mind is from Tales From The Bright Side issued on RCA in 1995 and that completes the first set. Then for part 2, it's the Narada years which include As Promised, Walking in Rhythm, Lonely Nights, & Sierra Leone from the above indicated albums respectively completing a 9-track tribute devoted to the music of Alex Bugnon!

Site: Alex Bugnon

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