December 3rd, 2006
Edition #425 Previously Next
Revolving Door - Joyce Cooling:
Following the events of 9/11, Cooling vowed to create music that was both meaningful and relevant and with this her latest and sixth cd over all, the award winning guitarist makes good on her promise. Titled Revolving Door, the new album is a fitting showcase for Ms Cooling's fluid and bluesy-tinged technique while drawing attention to the never-ending cycle of mental illness. It's in this context that Cooling has gained intimate knowledge of the impact that mental illness can have on a family, as her brother was stricken with schizophrenia at the age of 19. In recognition of his ongoing struggle and that of others, Cooling is donating a portion of the proceeds directly to The National Alliance on Mental Illness. While the subject is a serious issue, the record itself is far from being a collection of depressing songs.
Photo: Album Insert
Instead, the San Francisco based musician and her long-time musical partner,
Jay Wagner, dispel much of the gloom while balancing the grim realities
with a cheerful optimism that has long characterized their work! Our feature
begins with Cool of the Night, a mesmerizing mood-drenched masterpiece
complete with a chorus of chirping crickets and an intoxicating shuffle
groove. Kicking-off hour two is the title track; here Cooling displays
some of her grittiest playing. Finally, the Bay Area favourite is at her
breezy and carefree best on the snappy & stylish At the Modern. These
all underscore a project that shows heightened artistic awareness and
an offering that is likely Cooling's most focused to date!
CD: Revolving Door
Label: Narada Jazz
Site: Joyce Cooling
|Back Trax: Part One
Sampled Joe - Michael Paulo:
Paulo's career began in his native Hawaii where he recorded four albums as a member of Kalapana. In 1981, he moved to Los Angeles and a couple of years later he joined Al Jarreau's touring band. Paulo continued in that capacity for the better part of ten years or so, while also releasing his debut in 1988. By 1994, Paulo was in the midst of launching Noteworthy Records to coincide with the release of Save the Children his fourth solo project. On a personal note, the track we've selected was one of the tunes that was initially responsible for my eventual and long-time addiction to the sounds of smooth!
CD: Save the Children (1993)
Label: Noteworthy Records
Site: Michael Paulo
My Way - Ed Hamilton:
Guitarist Ed Hamilton has backed a long string of top-flight players, a list that includes Stanley Clark, George Howard, Special EFX, Rick Braun, and Dennis Chambers. His 1995 debut entitled Planet Jazz drew favourable attention, the track Gray Day being particularly impressive and to date he's issued four albums. This time we pick up the story with 1998's Groovology and what was already Hamilton's third release. From that effort, we've selected the warm and bubbly On My Way!
CD: Groovology (1998)
Label: Shanachie Entertainment
Site: Ed Hamilton
|Back Trax: Part Two
Lights - Dave Grusin:
Dave Grusin has had many far-reaching contributions in the field of music, from being a performer and arranger to his capacity as a bandleader and record label exec. Grusin studied classical music in Colorado as a piano major, but discovered he had an affinity for jazz. He enrolled at the Manhattan School of Music in 1959 and although he planned a career in academia, not long afterward, Grusin began touring with Andy Williams as an assistant music director and pianist. During that seven-year gig he moved to LA and met drummer Larry Rosen; it was about 20 years later that the two would become partners in forming GRP Records. In 1960, Grusin recorded with Benny Goodman. His own record career was launched in the mid-60s with a pair of jazz trio albums, while in the early 70s he arranged for and recorded with Sarah Vaughn and Quincy Jones. He did a fair bit of composing for TV having penned the themes for Maude, Good Times, Baretta, and St. Elsewhere and he's also amassed a filmography of nearly 100 movies, having been Oscar nominated on several occasions and winning an award for best original score with The Milagro Beanfield War.
Grusin played with Lee Ritenour in the mid-'70s, before helping establish GRP Records in 1982. The company developed into a top contemporary label and was eventually taken over by MCA in 1994. A few years afterward in 1997, Grusin and Rosen co-founded N2K Encoded Music with Phil Ramone, later that was sold to Warlock Records. Grusin's personal discography includes about 35 titles, a total which includes soundtracks and originals as well as tributes to jazz legends such as Gershwin and Duke Ellington. Out of these, it's impossible to select a single track that properly represents the scope of Grusin's accomplishments, yet we've done pretty well with City Lights, an excellent piece which rates among Grusin's most popular and finest efforts.
CD: Mountain Dance (1979)
Fan Site: Dave Grusin Archive
With Me - Ray Garand:
Hearing Ray Garand play guitar may be somewhat misleading, after all it's not everyday one discovers a guitarist possessing his style and tone who hails from the wind swept plains of Saskatchewan. Garand grew up with a passion for music. In 1985, he relocated to Vancouver and became part of the session scene, recording with many of that city's finer players. By the late 90s, Garand had fulfilled a long time ambition when he set up his own studio and set about recording what turned out to be a series of solo projects.
It was right around this time that our paths crossed via Gabriel Mark Hasselbach's landmark Double Life cd, Ray had contributed to several tracks and we were in the midst of jumping onto Gabriel's album in a big way. We latched onto a rough mix of Stereo Jackets and Garand's debut wherein he played guitar as well as all the instruments. Being suitably impressed, we've been huge fans ever since. Ray has now recorded three cds under his own name along with another issued in collaboration with Steve Werbicki. It's now our pleasure to return to the album that started it all for one of Garand's finest tracks!
CD: Stereo Jackets (2000)
Site: Ray Garand
in the Shade - Heavyshift :
Heavyshift is the British acid jazz duo comprised of Will South on piano and John Wallace on sax. Among Wallace's better-known projects were The Stargazers, a rock n roll revival band, and The JoBoxers, who scored some top ten hits in the 80s. Wallace dabbled in some film work as an extra while playing with some great acts such as David Bowie and Robert Plant before he met up with South in the early mid 90s. They debuted as Heavyshift in 1995 their Unchain Your Mind album reaching the top ten on the Billboard jazz chart in the USA while Jazz FM in the UK named it their album of the year. Although, they recorded six albums in all, none quite matched the success of that initial offering nor the success of 90° in the Shade, the album's hit single complete with it's "wailing horn, agonised organ, and throbbing shuffling beats!"
CD: Unchain Your Mind (1995)
|After Hours ~ Exclusive to our Web Site :
|On this edition: a mix of new and old featuring the music of Brian Hughes on Then & Now blended with new-never-before-been-played-on-our-show selections. We have six selections from Mr. Hughes, one from each of his solo releases, as well as six brand new trax for 12 in all, and over a full hour of virtually uninterrupted music. There's more from Torcuato Mariano, Lee Ritenour, William Woods, and Perry Joslin. We're introducing Brookville and cap things off with a track from Darryl Stuermer's latest. Entitled Rewired - The Electric Collection, the album sees Stuermer returning to an energetic brand of fusion. Although we've selected a "milder" track, please be advised, this project is not intended for the faint of heart!
Then & Now Spotlight Feature: Brian Hughes
Brian Hughes: Only a handful of Canadian contemporary instrumental artists have an international presence, front and centre in that bunch is Mr. Brian Hughes! Hailing from Vegreville, a small town in central Alberta, Hughes was only four, when his family relocated to nearby Edmonton. As a teen, he absorbed all the pop sounds of the day while copying the licks of Eric Clapton and Jimi Hendrix. A job in a record store exposed Brian to a broad array of genres so that by the time he'd turned 18, he had been bitten by the jazz bug, with Wes Montgomery and Grant Green being among his greatest influences!
With his half-dozen releases, numerous guest spots, and frequent touring, Hughes has carved out an impressive career. His signature style, a fluid blend of Latin, Jazz, and World Music, has firmly established him as one of the foremost guitarists on the contemporary scene. It's with pleasure then that we spotlight some of those musical highlights, past and present, as part of our Then & Now feature. We begin by zipping back to 1990 and Between Dusk and Dreaming. From that release, we have the sublime Promise You. Nueve Puertas follows, featuring the dream pairing of Brian on guitar and Les Portelli on piano. From Straight To You there's the title track. The exceptional As The World Slowly Turns launches the second half of the feature and that's followed by For You. There are two versions, we've selected the one upon which 3rd Force guests. Finally, our 6-track feature concludes with the title track from Along the Way, a reference of sorts to Brian's relocation a few years back and a bit of a nod to his years of touring and to the experiences that he's enjoyed along the way!
Site: Brian Hughes