November 26th, 2006
Edition #424 Previously Next
Full Circle - David Benoit:
The Bakersfield, California native grew up in The South Bay of near by Los Angeles and his formal training included lessons with Arturo Toscanini's pianist. While attending El Camino College, Benoit focused on theory and composition; he studied orchestration, and later film scoring at UCLA. In 1976, he joined Lainie Kazan as Musical Director before assuming similar roles with Ann Margaret and Connie Stevens. A five-time Grammy nominee, Benoit has a wide-ranging resume. Beginning with his solo debut in 1977, he's recorded nearly 30 albums including a couple as The Benoit/Freeman Project, a pair of seasonal releases, one Best of, several soundtrack compilations, and another as a charter member of the Rippingtons. Thruout his entire career, Benoit has kept his music relevant. Long one of the most influential players in the genre, he's titled this latest release Full Circle in a sense announcing his return to the style he pioneered!
|Our feature showcases a trio of selections, and as usual, our disposition is to make engaging choices beginning with Neat With A Twist. The title of this track is an allusion perhaps to Benoit's penchant for martinis. This fact notwithstanding, Benoit's piano literally sparkles. Ably supported by many top shelf players, guesting on the track is fellow keyboardist Jeff Lorber, with Alex Al on bass, Gary Meek on sax, and guitarist Dwight Sills.
Courtesy: Concord Music
finesse on keys is unmatched on Chasing the Tides which opens the second
half of the show. Top-producer Paul Brown co-wrote the piece while Euge
Groove helps affect the hypnotic groove on the track. Our final selection
is Six PM and this one features Brian Bromberg on bass, Rick Braun on
trumpet, and a few other top players, among them Tim Weisberg on flute
and both Luis Conte and Alex Acuna on percussion! 'Nuff said!
CD: Full Circle
Label: Peak Records
Site: David Benoit
|Fresh Trax: Part One
|MiDoe - Perry Joslin:
Throughout his school years, Joslin's piano lessons always took precedence; he was playing chamber and classical music in his teens before discovering jazz at the Tilton School in New Hampshire. He quickly became aware of the realities of life as a jazz musician, so he became a broker. After several moves, he relocated to Ft. Lauderdale, to care for his ailing grandfather. In time, his success in business provided the opportunity where Joslin could work up to six hours a day to reclaim his chops. His first cd was actually released a couple of years back, but only recently came to our attention. From that effort as Perry Joslin Project, we're featuring MiDoe, a track dedicated to his wife. Ed Calle guests on sax on this exceptional piece, upon which Joslin leaves no doubt as to the the authenticity of his jazz credentials!
CD: Perry Joslin Project
Label: Virtuosos Records
Site: Perry Joslin
|Cartagena - Incendio:
It's been a couple of years since we last heard from the Los Angeles-based Latin guitar world fusion group. The Incendio style blends flamenco, classical, & middle-eastern music with influences from Celtic, jazz, Rock, trance & pop. They've been playing together for over six years with several releases already to their credit. Led by the guitar work of cofounder Jim Stubblefield, the latest release entitled Seduction is their first smooth jazz oriented offering and from that effort, we have Cartagena. The last minute or so of this selection quite literally transcends!
Label: New World Music Inc.
|Fresh Trax: Part Two
|Butterfly Legs - Boday:
Hailing from Grand Rapids, Michigan, Boday is the "alter ego" for Minneapolis guitarist Jeff Christensen. Christensen arrived several years back, and established himself on the Twin City music scene as a studio player. Although his style has been compared to some top names in the genre, a single track is all it takes to be convinced that Boday's is a rare talent. Beginning with his debut in 1997 while last heard from back in 2002, Butterfly Legs is his latest and fourth release overall. From that offering, we're featuring the unique and delicate form of the title track!
CD: Butterfly Legs
Label: Sound Knowledge Records
|When Somebody Loves You Back
- Victor Fields:
An Oakland resident for nearly 25 years, Fields is an East Coast transplant, who hails from Brooklyn, NY while he grew up in Worcester, MA. Fields' mother, a singer and a Julliard-trained pianist, exposed Fields to a variety of musical forms. However, Fields put his musical aspirations on hold, attending Bowdoin College as a political science major, later following a successful path in business in the Bay Area.
Initially, Fields started singing as a hobby, but after his mother passed away, he decided to pursue a career in music. He connected with Kashif, a Grammy-nominated producer and songwriter the result being his 1998 debut. A few years later, Fields met guitarist Chris Camozzi, a chart topping smooth jazz performer in his own right and their visions meshed perfectly. 2002 saw their first collaboration, the critically acclaimed 52nd Street, which landed on Billboard's jazz album chart. Thinking of You is now their third project together, this latest installment may be the best overall offering as their fit and comfort level just keeps getting better and better! From that release, we have the excellent Camozzi-Fields take on the Gamble and Huff classic track that was recorded by Teddy Pendergrass back in 1978.
CD: Thinking Of You
Label: Regina Records
Site: Victor Fields
- Steve Cole:
Steve Cole studied music at Northwestern after pursuing business at the University of Chicago. Initially, Steve was classically trained. At 18, he soloed with the Chicago Symphony. However, his focus changed when he discovered the music of Spyro Gyra & Grover Washington. He frequently gigged on the Chicago music scene and did commercial work for radio and TV, while touring with Bob Mamet and Brian Culbertson. This led to a deal and the release of Cole's highly successful solo debut in 1998. He scored a pair of #1 singles, a third track made the top 5 and it all culminated with Cole's selection as Best New Smooth Jazz Artist a couple of years later. This heightened profile led to many new opportunities, as Cole recorded with Larry Carlton, Brian Culbertson, and Jeff Lorber while guesting with other top flight performers such as Rick Braun and Peter White. His follow up projects have each yielded chart-topping single and now that trend seems likely to continue with this funky advance from his latest and fifth cd entitled True!
Label: Narada Jazz
Site: Steve Cole ; Narada
|After Hours ~ Exclusive to our Web Site :
|On this edition: new-never-before-been-played-on-the-show selections as well as music both past & present from Steve Oliver. We've taken a track from each of the Steve's 4 releases, and incorporated them into a single set feature called Then & Now and that's coming up about 20 minutes in. Otherwise, new music rules the day. There's the new one from Bradley Leighton, more from The Rippingtons, Urban Jazz Coalition, and Wayne Jones; fans of Joyce Cooling will love the latest track we've selected from Revolving Door. Stay tuned as well for Lafayette Harris Jr, Vince Madison, and Jay Rowe. Meanwhile, starting things is an extraordinary piece from George Benson and Al Jarreau called Ordinary People, that's Marion Meadows on sax on the track!
Then & Now Spotlight Feature: Steve Oliver
Steve Oliver: It's been over two years and nearly 100 programs since we last thrust Steve Oliver into our Then & Now spotlight. With the release of Radiant earlier this year, Oliver increased his solo project count to four. Therefore, it seemed all factors were perfectly aligned for us to focus once again on the collected works of our long time Café Jazz favourite! Although he'd appeared thruout central California during the early 90s, playing guitar and singing vocalese, things didn't really start motoring for Steve Oliver until about 1995. Shortly after making contact with Steve Reid (ex of The Rippingtons), Reid asked Oliver to join him on Mysteries, the third of his Bamboo Forest projects. Oliver performed on that and the following release and ended up touring with Reid for three years, all of which led to the release of his own debut and Oliver's subsequent selection as Debut Artist of The Year by the Smooth Jazz News!
At this point, it's a pleasure to feature the unique stylings of the only "one-man-band" in smooth jazz and one of it's most exciting and dynamic performers! Our 4-track presentation includes Highway One, Festevo (one of my all time Oliver favourites and a hold-over from our past feature), Magic World, and Feeling Good from the above albums respectively! So, be it 50 or 100 shows from now, I'm already looking forward to our next Steve Oliver "then & now" retrospective!
Site: Steve Oliver