February 25th, 2007
Edition #436 Previously Next
The Meeting Place - Ken Navarro:
An early favourite to this point in the year is the Meeting Place from Ken Navarro. While not receiving the notoriety accorded some of his peers, few players in the genre have consistently delivered as extensive & as tasty an array of upbeat releases. After a pair of projects on Shanachie Records, The Meeting Place is the second album since Navarro returned to his own Positive Music label making this his 17th release overall. In the 80s, Navarro, a Lafayette, Indiana native, moved to the West Coast, where he developed into a top sideman on the LA session scene playing in support of Doc Severinsen, John Pattitucci, Dave Koz, and other headliners. In 1990, Navarro made a major move towards establishing his own identity, releasing a solo debut, and simultaneously launching Positive Music. His follow-up project earned a Grammy nomination while subsequent efforts firmly established Navarro as a perennial fan favourite, placing him squarely among the elite in smooth jazz.
|On this latest project, Navarro has revamped his studio sound to some extent, incorporating dynamic stage elements while doubling on both the acoustic and electric guitars. Meanwhile, those catchy Navarro riffs and hook-laden grooves, for many years his calling card, are as prominent and as appealing as ever.|
Live in Denver:
Photo courtesy of KenNavarro.com
Over the years, we've spotlighted many Navarro cds - it's a similar fate
that now befalls The Meeting Place as both album and author are thrust
into our showcase spotlight! We begin with Did You Hear That, a tune that
Navarro wrote early in the recording process and one which ultimately
set the direction for the project. The Language of Peace exhibits various
world flavours and opens hour 2. Meanwhile culminating the feature & the
show is The Challenge - a full six-plus minute musical excursion, punctuated
by a go for broke solo. Accordingly, with The Meeting Place, Navarro delivers
not only another classy and typically entertaining project, he lays undisputed
claim to the title "jazz's most soulful smooth guitarist"!
CD: The Meeting Place
Label: Positive Music Records
Site: Ken Navarro
|Fresh Trax: Part One|
It Might Be You - Dave Koz:
Although he'd played a bit of piano and had tried drums, Koz initially picked up the sax at age 13 as a means of getting into his brother's band. After graduating from UCLA with a degree in mass communications, in 1986, Koz become a professional musician. Within weeks of that decision, he joined the Bobby Caldwell band - for the rest of the 80s, he did session work while taking a turn as member of The Posse, on the Arsenio Hall show. Koz launched his solo career in 1990 and then in 1994 he began hosting the syndicated Dave Koz Radio Show (formerly Personal Notes). In 2002, Koz co-founded Rendezvous Entertainment, and just this past year he was selected to host a syndicated afternoon show for Broadcast Architecture's new Smooth Jazz Network. He currently co-hosts the morning show on The Wave, the smooth station in LA and it's also been reported Koz has been selected as the host for an upcoming series called Frequency that will air nationally in the US on PBS. In addition, Koz hosts The Dave Koz and Friends at Sea Cruise and an annual Christmas Tour, while he also serves as Global Ambassador for the Starlight Children's Foundation. Somewhere in there, he found a bit of time to record At The Movies and from that release we have the advance single with Peter White!
CD: At The Movies
Label: Capitol Records
Site: Dave Koz l
||Shaken Not Stirred - Terry Disley:
Perhaps best known in Smooth Jazz circles through his long association with Acoustic Alchemy, Disley toured and recorded with the group for six years in the 90s - more recently joining them for a tour this past year. Yet, Disley is a highly versatile & accomplished artist - he studied music theory intensively and trained in jazz, composition, harmony and arranging. As a player and performer, Disley has appeared as a featured soloist with London's Metropolitan Orchestra. In addition, Terry is highly acclaimed as a jazz pianist; on many occasions he's played London's prestigious Ronnie Scott's club. He's been commissioned to work on projects with Sir Paul McCartney & Mick Jagger and for 5 years he was also Dave (Eurythmics) Stewart's music director.
Since 1997, Disley has resided in San Francisco where he's developed into a first call session player with an extensive list of credits. His debut released in 2004, made our in house list of favourites for the year, a feat that is sure to be duplicated with Across the Pond, Terry's latest effort. On a personal note, I have more than just a hunch this album will in fact be one of strongest releases for 2007 and am here to for going on record in predicting Disley will make a major splash with Across the Pond! From this release, we have incredible Shaken Not Stirred!
CD: Across The Pond
Label: Disleyworld Music
|Fresh Trax: Part Two|
With You - Chuck Loeb:
As a teen learning guitar, pop songs initially attracted Loeb's attention, but after discovering jazz, his style began to change, the music of Wes Montgomery and John McLaughlin proving particularly influential. Following a two-year stint at Berklee in Boston, Loeb joined The Stan Getz Band in 1979. He toured with the legendary sax player for nearly two full years and credits this period as critical in his development as an artist. After hundreds of sessions on the NYC studio scene, he released his debut in 1988. Achieving a rare mix of critical acclaim and commercial success, Loeb's catalogue of 15 cds has yielded many top 10 singles as well as three #1 singles. Presence is Loeb's debut on Heads Up and from that effort, we're hangin' with Chuck and one of our faves from the disc!
Label: Heads Up International
Site: C.Loeb ;
Loved - Pete Alderton:
Pete Alderton's music bears strong Afro-American roots and an authenticity that immediately sets him apart. Born the son of an American G.I. stationed in Great Britain, he's a seasoned performer whose versatility allows him to unabashedly incorporate elements of soul, R&B, and pop while keeping true to the Blues. His guitar playing is steeped in passion, while his voice resonates with the joy and pain of love and a lifetime of experience on the road!
CD: Living On Love
Label: Ozella Music/Song Ways
- Chieli Minucci & Special EFX:
Led by Chieli Minucci and the late George Jinda, Special EFX became one of the seminal forces in the early days of Smooth Jazz Sweet Surrender is now the fourth and latest project since Minucci resurrected the Special EFX banner a few years back. From that forthcoming effort we have Mystical, the advance single and an instant favourite!
CD: Sweet Surrender
Label: Shanachie Entertainment
|After Hours ~ Exclusive to our Web Site :|
Today's focus is new music - here's a quick recap. There's a track from the Denver-based band, Dotsero, and their live cd recorded at Jazz at Jacks. We have Slim Man and Lamb & Meyer, as well as Steve Cole as we explore each of their recently released projects. John Niems is on the show, first time for him; we're playing the latest from Richy Kicklighter as well as new music from Lauren Wood and Will Donato. Also in the mix are some previously undiscovered gems by Bobby Lyle and Jeffery B. Suttles as well as from Boday; additionally, there's the latest single from Patrick Yandall and Samoa Soul. Not surprisingly, we're starting with something new - this time from Jeff Golub and the forthcoming Grand Central cd!